Terrorist Ali Harbi Ali handed whole-life sentence for murder of Sir David Amess

Jurors took just 18 minutes to convict the 26-year-old London-born extremist.

Ryan Hooper
Wednesday 13 April 2022 12:36
Ali Harbi Ali has been sentenced for the murder of Sir David Amess (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Ali Harbi Ali has been sentenced for the murder of Sir David Amess (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The homegrown terrorist who murdered veteran MP Sir David Amess in a warped retaliation against politicians who voted to bomb Syria has been handed a whole-life prison term.

Unrepentant Ali Harbi Ali pursed his lips briefly as Mr Justice Sweeney handed down his sentence at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

The judge told 26-year-old Ali: “The defendant has no remorse or shame for what he has done – quite the reverse.

“This is a murder that struck at the heart of democracy.”

He described Sir David’s death as a loss “of national significance”.

Sir David’s family, in a statement issued through the Metropolitan Police, said his murder was “beyond evil” and they felt “no elation” at Ali’s imprisonment.

The whole-life sentence means Ali will never be eligible for parole, and will likely spend the rest of his days in prison.

Current whole-lifers include sexual predator Wayne Couzens, who raped and murdered Sarah Everard, and far-right extremist Thomas Mair, who murdered Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016.

Ali Harbi Ali has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering Sir David Amess (Metropolitan Police/PA)

University dropout Ali, from Kentish Town in north London, was convicted of murder and preparing terrorist acts on Monday by jurors who spent just 18 minutes in retirement.

Prosecutors described the case as “overwhelming”, and Ali himself did not dispute much of the evidence.

The Islamic State fanatic carried out his attack at the backbench Conservative MP’s constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15 last year.

Ali told the trial he had no regrets about the murder, defending his actions by saying Sir David deserved to die because he had voted in Parliament for air strikes on Syria in 2014 and 2015.

Sir David Amess had been an MP since 1983 (Chris McAndrew/PA)

The court heard that Ali became known to authorities around this time as his school performance plunged and he was referred to the Government’s Prevent strategy, but continued plotting in secret.

The so-called “lone wolf” sent a manifesto on WhatsApp to family and friends seeking to justify his actions around the time of the attack, and told father-of-five Sir David he was “sorry” before plunging the 12in carving knife into him, causing the 69-year-old politician to scream.

Sir David received more than 20 stab injuries and died at the scene.

Knife-wielding Ali was later apprehended by two police officers armed only with batons and spray.

Dramatic footage of the stand-off was captured on police bodyworn cameras. The two officers have since been handed bravery awards.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle told PA MPs and political staff remain “traumatised” by the atrocity, and continue to struggle amid fears for their security.

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