"I'm glad the Manchester Arena terrorist didn't come to the courtroom," says victim's mother

21 August 2020, 12:10 | Updated: 21 August 2020, 12:16

By Fiona Jones

Mother of Manchester Arena attack victim Figen Murray shares with James O'Brien why she was glad the bomb plotter refused to come in to the courtroom and face the families.

Figen Murray's son Martyn Hett was one of the 22 victims murdered at the Manchester Arena terror attack.

The Manchester Arena bomb plotter Hashem Abedi, brother of the bomber, was given a life sentence on Thursday with a minimum tariff of 55 years.

Ms Murray told James that going back after to court for the sentencing and hearing the victim impact statements from family members was "so heart-wrenching."

"It was tough, it was really exhausting but a good outcome," Ms Murray said.

The culprit refused to come into the courtroom at the Old Bailey to hear the witness statements; Ms Murray reflected, "Actually I'm glad he wasn't there because terrorists are really trying to divide us and cause harm and pain.

"I'm glad he didn't listen to everybody's pain and the harm that they caused because I didn't want him to be thinking he's happy that he's partly succeeded. I didn't want him to hear that."

Figen Murray told James, "I'm glad the terrorist didn't listen to everybody's pain"
Figen Murray told James, "I'm glad the terrorist didn't listen to everybody's pain". Picture: LBC/PA

Ms Murray said that the British justice system did "absolutely its very best" by giving Mr Abedi 55 years, which is the maximum that can be given to him due to his age at the time of the attack.

"The police, counter-terrorism, everybody worked so hard...to get this case, to get justice and I think it's succeeded," she said, "everybody should pat themselves on their back and say well done."

She told James that people have asked if she's able to "draw a line" under the terrible atrocity after the sentencing; she said, "There's no moving on from this kind of grief...that line doesn't even exist."

"It's an eternal abyss of grief that never goes away but you learn to live day by day, one day at a time."

Ms Murray said that the grief was worst at 22:31, which "haunts me every night... that's when Martyn died."

To keep Martyn's memory alive Ms Murray is continuing to campaign to get Martyn's Law through, the regulation to have much more stringent checks at the entry of events.