Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The brother of suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people in a 2017 terror attack at Britain's Manchester Arena, on Thursday was sentenced to at least 55 years in prison for his part in the crime.
Hashem Abedi was not present in London's Old Bailey court when Judge Jeremy Baker handed down the sentence on 22 counts stemming from the May 22, 2017, bombing following an Ariana Grande concert in the British city.
Abedi fired his defense team and refused to leave his cell during most of the proceedings.
In March he was found guilty of 22 counts of murder, attempted murder of the injured survivors and plotting to cause an explosion.
Noting that many of the bombing victims were minors, Baker said the brothers chose the concert for their attack because "it was their intention to specifically target" young people, including children.
"The stark reality is that these were atrocious crimes -- large in their scale, deadly in their intent and appalling in their consequences," he said.
At trial, prosecutors said Abedi bought bomb-making chemicals, helped buy the vehicle where they were hidden and helped craft the detonator tubes. They argued that his activities made him as responsible for the attack as his brother.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday called the Manchester Arena bombing "a horrifying and cowardly act of violence which targeted children and families."
Abedi's sentencing, he tweeted, is "an opportunity to reflect on the importance of tolerance, community and kindness -- values which are fundamental to our country, and which we saw in Manchester in the face of unimaginable tragedy."