After receiving a life sentence, the unrepentant homegrown terrorist who murdered veteran Tory MP Sir David Amess will die in prison.
On Monday, jurors found Ali Harbi Ali guilty of murder and preparing terrorist acts after only 18 minutes of deliberation.
The case against Ali, 26, was described by prosecutors as “overwhelming,” and the 26-year-old Londoner himself did not dispute much of the evidence.
Ali, a university dropout from Kentish Town in north London, “specifically instructed” his defence lawyer Tracy Ayling QC not to address judge Mr Justice Sweeney in mitigation before he was sentenced, according to Ayling QC.
Sweeney branded Ali “cowardly” for refusing to accept his guilt and putting Sir David’s family through the ordeal of a trial when he sentenced him to a life sentence with a minimum of 30 years to run concurrently for planning terrorist attacks.
“I would like to express the court’s sincere sympathy and condolences to Sir David’s family, friends, staff, colleagues, and constituents,” he said.
I want to express the court’s deep admiration for the family’s brave and dignified handling of their loss and the ordeal of the trial, which was brought upon them by the defendant’s cowardly refusal to accept his guilt.”
Ali, from north London’s Kentish Town, told the court he had plotted to assassinate a number of MPs, including cabinet minister Michael Gove.
He claimed in court that he was motivated by a desire for vengeance against MPs who voted in favour of airstrikes on Syria. During the 40-minute hearing, members of Sir David’s family wiped away tears.
In a statement released by the Metropolitan Police, they said they felt “no elation” after being sentenced. “It breaks our hearts to know that our husband and father would have greeted the murderer with a friendly smile and would have been eager to assist,” they continued.
Mike Freer, the Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, said that for constituency surgeries, he and his staff would now wear stab vests and panic alarms.
Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, said he was at home in west London when Ali conducted armed reconnaissance outside in the months leading up to the attack on Sir David.
On Monday, the jury found Ali guilty of murder and terrorism preparation in just 18 minutes.
During his trial, Ali stated that he had no regrets or feelings of shame, telling the court, “If I thought I did anything wrong, I wouldn’t have done it”
He had planned to die as a “martyr” according to the court, assuming he would be shot by police.