Parents of Martyn Hett, murdered in the Manchester Arena attack, brand bomber’s brother ‘coward’ as he’s jailed for 55 years

Ariana Grande Manchester bombing: Hashem Abedi is a 'coward', say parents of bombing victim Martyn Hett

Hashem Abedi, the brother of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber jailed for his part in the attack, has been branded a “coward” by the parents of victim Martyn Hett.

Abedi refused to appear in court Thursday (August 21) as he was sentenced to 55 years in jail for the murders of 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.

He was found guilty of conspiring to plot the terror attack with his brother, Salman Abedi, who died when he detonated a bomb at the concert.

Paul Hett, father of victim Martyn Hett, told Sky News: “Hashem Abedi couldn’t even be man enough to come to court to hear how he had affected these people.

“We’ve spent two days listening to harrowing details of lives that have been totally shattered, not just the 22 that lost their loved ones but the hundreds of lives changed forever.

“I’m sure the parole board will ensure that this coward never sees the light of day again.”

Sharon Goodman, whose 15-year-old granddaughter, Olivia, also died in the attack, said she found it “very disrespectful” that Abedi refused to be in the courtroom for his sentencing.

“I think it’s contemptible, it’s arrogant, I find it very disrespectful that he didn’t come to court,” she told Sky News.

Martyn Hett remembered with Martyn’s Law.

Hett, 29, was one of the 22 people killed in the terror attack. In the wake of the tragedy, his mother Figen Murray led a campaign for Martyn’s Law – a proposal that would tighten security at public venues and require them to have a counter-terrorism plan.

In February, security minister James Brokenshire announced that Martyn’s Law would be introduced, including a new “protect duty” that requires venue operators to “consider the risk of a terrorist attack and take proportionate and reasonable measures to prepare for and protect the public from such an attack”.

In the days before Abedi’s sentencing, Murray opened up about coming face-to-face with her son’s killer in court earlier this year.

She said she went into “self-preservation” mode as she sat looking at Hashem Abedi in the Old Bailey in London.

Murray “locked eyes” with Abedi “once or twice” during his trial, she told PA.

“I just looked at him. To be honest with you he looked like an ordinary young man who got it so horrifically wrong,” she said.

“I thought, ‘Shame on you’, and that’s all,” she added.

A public inquiry into the attack is due to begin next month.