Man Who Shared Christchurch Shooting Video Sentenced To 21 Months In Prison

New Zealand man Philip Arps, 44, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after sharing video of worshippers being killed in the March 15 Christchurch mosque shooting.

The businessman pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing video of the Al Noor Mosque attack. New Zealand’s laws aimed at preventing the distribution of objectionable material meant Arps faced as many as 14 years imprisonment on each count.

In March, Australian man Brenton Tarrant allegedly livestreamed himself on Facebook as entering two mosques in Christchurch carrying firearms and killed 51 people. Last week, he pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll reportedly told the court that Arps had effectively committed a hate crime after expressing strong views about the Muslim community, including describing the video as “awesome”.

Judge O’Driscoll said Arps had compared himself to Nazi leader Rudolf Hess and accused him of sending the video of the shooting to thirty others.

“Your offending glorifies and encourages the mass murder carried out under the pretext of religious and racial hatred.”

The judge also said Arps had asked someone to insert a kill count and crosshairs on the video to create a meme, however no evidence existed that he ever shared the edited clip.

When he was first arrested by New Zealand Police and asked about the victim’s deaths, Arps reportedly repliedI could not give a fuck.

In the days following the mosque attacks a 2016 video emerged showing Arps delivering a box of pigs heads to the Masjid Al-Noor mosque. Back then he was convicted of offensive behaviour and fined $800.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reports that Arps had argued he was rightfully distributing the video under the guise of freedom to pursue his political beliefs.

Arps and his lawyer, Anselm Williams, filed an appeal immediately after the hearing.