Hashem Abedi, 22, was found guilty of murdering 22 people. Prosecutors said he was “just as guilty” as his brother. (Screen capture via ITV)
The brother of the Ariana Grande Manchester Arena bomber, Hashem Abedi, was sentenced Thursday afternoon (August 20) to a minimum of 55 years in jail for the murders of 22 people.
Abedi, 23, was found to have conspired with his brother Salman Abedi, who died by suicide after he detonated a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.
A prior trial at the Old Bailey, London, heard that while he was not present at the time of the explosion, Hashem’s fingerprints and DNA were found in the residences in the northwest city where they both made the bomb.
Gasps punctured the court today as judge Jeremy Baker jailed Abedi for life for each of the 22 counts of murder.
He told the court: “The defendant should clearly understand the minimum term he should serve is 55 years. He may never be released.”
Hashem Abedi refused to enter the court as families of victims voiced their loss and grief.
It brings a topsy-turvy two-day-long court hearing to a close, where Abedi rankled justices by refusing to enter the court as grieving relatives voiced how the attack that rippled across Britain has impacted them. Parents and loved ones broke down in tears during the hearing, Metro.co.uk reported.
A Police van carrying Hashem Abedi the younger brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 18 2019 in London, England. (Luke Dray/Getty Images)
In the days after the explosion, law enforcement combed the scene and found that the shrapnel gathered in the blast site was made with forethought and care.
Shreds of a blue Karrimor backpack carried by the Manchester bomber and nuts and bolts found by officers suggested its improvised design which, courts heard, the brothers sourced the materials together of.
Courts were told that Hashem was involved in the research, experimentation and making of the explosives before returning to Libya a month before the attack.
What happened in Manchester that night?
In was an evening beginning with a flourish of pink balloons dropping from the rafters that ended with traumatised parents screaming as they searched for their children in the heaving crowds.
People pay their respects during a ceremony in central Manchester. (OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Panic and mayhem seized the crowds at Manchester Arena as the blast reverberated through the building. Adoring fans of the then 23-year-old pop star were rushed to six hospitals nearby in what witnesses described as a “horror movie”.
Around 264 concert-goers were wounded and 22 – including Martyn Hett, a gay man – died, some aged as young as eight.
Around 670 concert-goers have reported psychological trauma as a result.
But years since the ordeal – considered by many to be the most deadliest episode of terrorism in Britain since the 2005 7/7 bombings – and Hett’s mother has tirelessly campaigned for tighter, stricter policy around public venue security.