Scene where MP David Amess was stabbed
Scene where MP David Amess was stabbed REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

An Islamic State (ISIS) supporter was given a whole-life sentence Wednesday for stabbing British lawmaker David Amess to death in revenge for his voting in support for air strikes on Syria, The Associated Press reported.

Ali Harbi Ali, 26, was convicted Monday of murdering Amess and preparing terrorist acts. A jury deliberated for just 18 minutes before finding him guilty.

He stabbed Amess with a carving knife multiple times on October 15 while he was meeting with voters at a church hall in the town of Leigh-on-Sea in eastern England. Ali, a London man with Somali heritage, said he targeted Amess because he backed voting for air strikes on Syria in 2014 and 2015.

The whole-life sentence means Ali will never be eligible for parole, and will likely spend the rest of his days in prison.

During the trial, Ali told the court he took action in the UK to help Muslims in Syria because he couldn’t travel to join ISIS. He also said he did not think he did anything wrong.

At the time of the murder, Amess had been a member of Parliament for Southend West, which includes Leigh-on-Sea, since 1997, and had been a lawmaker since 1983, making him one of the longest-serving politicians in the House of Commons.

His murder came five years after another MP, Jo Cox, was murdered in her small-town constituency by a man linked to a neo-Nazi group.