Terror in Chch

Christchurch gunman to represent himself at sentencing

The gunman of the Christchurch mosque attacks has chosen to represent himself at his sentencing next month.

In March, Brenton Tarrant made a late guilty plea to 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

He is due to be sentenced on 24 August.

Tarrant appeared via audio-visual link in Christchurch High Court this morning where he waived his rights to a lawyer to represent himself for sentencing.

His previous lawyers Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson withdrew their application to represent him.

In court, Justice Cameron Mander appointed a lawyer for standby counsel, should Tarrant decide to be legally represented on the day.

On March 15 last year, the terrorist drove to Masjid Al-Noor in Christchurch and opened fire during Friday prayers.

In the course of the attack, 42 people were murdered there and two others died of their wounds in hospital. Tarrant then drove to Linwood Mosque and resumed shooting, murdering another seven people.

The attack was the worst mass shooting in New Zealand history and led to an immediate change in gun laws, including the banning of military-style semi-automatic weapons and a massive gun buyback which took in 56,250 prohibited firearms.

Tarrant was motivated by white supremacy and a belief in the Great Replacement conspiracy theory, which posits that Western civilisation and the white race will be destroyed by non-white migrants who have higher birth rates than Europeans.

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