Ali Harbi Ali given whole-life sentence for murder of David Amess
The family of Sir David Amess said they would “for ever shed tears” after his murder by a terrorist assassin who was sentenced to “die in prison” for an attack “on the heart of democracy”.
Ali Harbi Ali, 26, was handed a whole-life tariff by Mr Justice Sweeney after being convicted on Monday of murdering the MP and of planning terrorist attacks on other MPs, including the cabinet minister Michael Gove, for two years before he killed Amess.
Ali, from north London, had read extensive online Islamic State propaganda and answered their call for lone wolf attacks, the judge said.
He attacked Amess at a constituency surgery at a church in Leigh-on-Sea on 15 October last year, repeatedly plunging the knife deep into his chest cavity as directed by Islamic State videos on how to murder.
The judge said the case was of such exceptional seriousness that a rare whole-life order was merited. Ali also received a life sentence for his planning of attacks.
The jury at the Old Bailey on Monday took less than 20 minutes to convict Ali – who had once wanted to be a doctor.
Sweeney described the evidence as overwhelming. He said: “This was a murder that struck at the heart of our democracy.” So serious were the murder and the motives behind it, he said, “that the defendant must be kept in prison for the rest of his life”, meaning in all likelihood that Ali would “die in prison”.