WELLINGTON: A New Zealand man was jailed for 21 months on Tuesday for distributing gruesome livestream video of the Christchurch mosque attacks that killed 51 Muslim worshippers, local media reported.
Philip Arps, 44, was arrested in Christchurch four days after alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant’s March 15 rampage at two mosques in the South Island city resulted in the worst massacre in modern New Zealand history, reports AFP.Arps pleaded guilty to two charges of distributing objectionable material for sharing footage that was livestreamed to social media during the attack.
Christchurch District Court heard Arps distributed the raw footage to about 30 people and had another version that was modified to include crosshairs and a “kill count”, the New Zealand Herald reported.
“This was in effect a hate crime against the Muslim community,” judge Stephen O’Driscoll said.
He said it was “particularly cruel” to share the video in the days after the attacks, when relatives were still waiting to hear news of their loved ones.
O’Driscoll found that Arps had set out to “glorify” the deaths of Muslims and any punishment other than imprisonment was inappropriate, Radio New Zealand reported.