Ali Harbi Ali joins horror list of prisoners to have received a whole-life order sentence

The terrorist who murdered veteran MP Sir David Amess will die in jail after he was sentenced at the Old Bailey to a whole-life prison term

Published

Ali Harbi Ali will die in jail after being handed a whole-life prison term for the murder of Sir David Amess MP, which he claimed was a retaliation against politicians who voted to bomb Syria.

Mr Justice Sweeney handed down his sentence at the Old Bailey on Wednesday and said 26-year-old Ali "has no remorse or shame for what he has done – quite the reverse".

He added: “This is a murder that struck at the heart of democracy.”

It means he joins a handful of prisoners who will never be released from prison.

Whole-life orders, or whole-life tariffs as they were formally known, are for the most serious cases of murder and were previously imposed by Home Secretaries from 1983 until 2003.

Judges have had the power to impose whole-life orders since the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) in 2003.

Convicted criminals who are sentenced to a whole-life order must be at least 21 years of age.

There were 61 criminals serving whole-life orders, according to Government figures to the end of 2021.

Some of the most notorious criminals on the list include:

David Fuller

David Fuller
David Fuller

In December last year, Fuller was handed a whole-life tariff for the murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in 1987 and the sexual abuse of more than 100 dead women and girls in hospital mortuaries.

Wayne Couzens

Former Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens.
Former Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens.

Couzens’ whole-life sentence for the murder of Sarah Everard was the first time the tariff has been imposed for a single murder of an adult not committed in the course of a terror attack.

Thomas Mair

Thomas Mair.
Thomas Mair.

Mair served a whole-life sentence for the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox during the EU referendum campaign in 2016, which was committed to advance a cause associated with nazism.

Khairi Saadallah

Khairi Saadallah
Khairi Saadallah

The 27-year-old murdered three men during a jihadist attack in a Reading park in June 2020.

Levi Bellfield

Levi Bellfield.
Levi Bellfield.

Milly Dowler’s killer, Levi Bellfield, is thought to be the only criminal in UK legal history to be serving two whole-life orders – for her murder, the killings of Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange as well as the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy.

Myra Hindley

Myra Hindley
Myra Hindley

Moors murderer Hindley became the first woman to be given a whole-life tariff in 1990, 24 years after she and her co-defendant, Ian Brady, were sentenced to life imprisonment for the sexual abuse, torture and murder of three children. Hindley and Brady confessed to two more child killings in 1987.

Peter Sutcliffe

Peter Sutcliffe
Peter Sutcliffe

The Yorkshire Ripper was given 20 life terms in 1981 for murdering 13 women and attacking seven others, with a recommended minimum term of 30 years.

Rose West

Rosemary West.
Rosemary West.

West collaborated with her husband, Fred West, in the torture and murder of at least nine young women between 1973 and 1987. She also murdered her eight-year-old stepdaughter Charmaine in 1971. She was jailed for life in 1995.