The Supreme Court of New South Wales today sentenced Mr Milad Atai to 38 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 28 years and six months, for his part in helping source the firearm that was used in an act of terrorism.
Mr Atai, 22, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting 15-year-old Mr Farhad Mohammed commit an act of terrorism when he shot and killed Mr Curtis Cheng outside Parramatta Police Headquarters on 2 October 2015.
Mr Atai also pleaded guilty to two other charges of intentionally making funds available to the terrorist organisation Islamic State. A further charge of intentionally being a member of the terrorist organisation Islamic State was also taken into account on sentence.
Mr Atai played a critical role in the lead up to this terrorist act. He attended a number of meetings with his co-offenders in an effort to source and fund the purchase of the firearm used to kill Mr Cheng. He also attempted to have an extremist flag made with the intention it would be used in this terrorist act.
The day before the terrorist act in which Mr Cheng was killed, Shadi Mohammad (Farhad’s sister), left Australia for Syria. Her travel was organised and paid for with funds raised by Mr Atai. Mr Atai was also involved in raising a further sum of $5,000 for Islamic State.
Mr Atai was also part of an online WhatsApp closed chat group where members shared radical Islamist views and discussed their support of Islamic State. The chat group was called the ‘Bricks Forum’ and the group’s profile picture was an Islamic State flag.
During his sentence hearing in September, Mr Atai gave evidence and said that he was "sorry" to Mr Cheng's family. However, prior to sentence, Mr Atai wrote letters to the Australian Federal Police and Crown counsel in which he said he was “not sorry”, “nor regretful”, for his actions. He indicated he did not want a discount on his sentence for remorse.
In sentencing, Justice Johnson of the Supreme Court of New South Wales said the comments in these letters were cruel, devoid of basic humanity and were evidence of a “warped and criminal belief system”.
Justice Johnson said Mr Atai had shown no contrition or remorse and his prospects of rehabilitation were not favourable.
He said the Victim Impact Statement from the Cheng family illustrated how Mr Curtis Cheng was a fine man and a beloved father. The Court was told that the day her husband was murdered was the longest and most painful day of Mrs Selina Cheng’s life. Justice Johnson said it was clear that Mrs Cheng had suffered enormously.
He said the “fortitude, strength, courage, humanity, decency and dignity of the Cheng family” had “manifested themselves constantly” as the Cheng family had attended “what are undoubtedly difficult and challenging court proceedings for them”.
Summary of charges:
- One offence of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence by Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad against s 101.1(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth), namely that Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad did commit a terrorist act, contrary to sections 11.2(1) and 101.1(1) of the Criminal Code. [Sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment starting 22.3.24 and finishing 21.3.54.]
- Two offences of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation, namely Islamic State, knowing that the organisation was a terrorist organisation, contrary to section 102.6(1) of the Criminal Code. [Sentenced to 10 years and six months’ imprisonment starting 23.3.19.]
- One offence of intentionally being a member of a terrorist organisation, namely, Islamic State, knowing that the organisation was a terrorist organisation, contrary to section 102.3(1) of the Criminal Code was taken into account when passing sentence pursuant to section 16BA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). [Sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment starting 23.3.16]
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