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Moroccan asylum-seeker gets life sentence for killing UK retiree

Moroccan asylum-seeker gets life sentence for killing UK retiree
This screen grab taken from PA Video shows judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, during a live   -  
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PA Video/AP

United Kingdom

A Moroccan asylum-seeker who stabbed a British retiree to death in revenge for Israel's war against Hamas was sentenced Friday to at least 45 years in prison for what the judge termed a terrorist act.

Ahmed Alid told police after his arrest that he'd killed 70-year-old Terence Carney in the northeast England town of Hartlepool because "Israel had killed innocent children."

"They killed children and I killed an old man," he said during questioning.

Prosecutors said that on Oct. 15 — eight days after the Hamas attack on Israel that triggered the war in Gaza — Alid attacked his housemate, Iranian asylum-seeker Javed Nouri, with a knife as he slept. Nouri survived. Alid then ran outside, encountered Carney having a morning walk and stabbed him six times.

Prosecution lawyer Jonathan Sandiford said Alid had told police that "if he had had a machine gun and more weapons, he would have killed more victims."

Alid, 45, had denied the charges against him. Although he acknowledged stabbing the men, he said he had no intent to kill or cause serious harm.

A jury at Teesside Crown Court last month found Alid guilty of one count of murder, one count of attempted murder and two counts of assaulting police officers during his post-arrest interview.

Judge Bobbie Cheema-Grubb sentenced Alid to life with no chance of parole for 45 years, saying he had shown "no genuine remorse or pity" for his victims.

"The murder of Terence Carney was a terrorist act in which you hoped to influence the British government," she said. "You hoped to frighten the British people and undermine the freedoms they enjoy."

In a victim impact statement, the victim's wife Patricia Carney said she could no longer go into town because it was "too painful" to be near the spot where her husband was murdered.

Nouri, a convert to Christianity, said the attack had destroyed his sense of safety.

"I would expect to be arrested and killed in my home country for converting to Christianity but I did not expect to be attacked in my sleep here," his statement said. "How is it possible for someone to destroy someone's life because of his religion?"

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