Bourke Street attacker who killed six people is sentenced to 46 years in prison without parole as judge slams his ‘obvious lack of remorse’
- Gargasoulas used a stolen car to mow down pedestrians on Bourke Street mall
- The 29-year-old’s victims included a three-month-old baby boy and 10-year-old
- In sentencing Gargasoulas, judge said he showed an ‘obvious lack of remorse’
Convicted murderer James Gargasoulas has been sentenced to life in jail with a non-parole period of 46 years after he ran over and killed six people.
Gargasoulas used a stolen car to mow down pedestrians on the busy Bourke Street mall in Melbourne’s CBD on January 20, 2017.
The 29-year-old’s victims included three-month-old baby Zachary Bryant, who was thrown 60 metres from his pram, and 10-year-old girl Tahlia Hakin.
Convicted murderer James Gargasoulas has been sentenced to life in jail with a non-parole period of 46 years after he ran over and killed six people
Gargasoulas drove a maroon Holden Commodore into Bourke Street, Melbourne at lunch-time rush on January 20, 2017
Gargasoulas injured dozens of others, knocking them to the ground and into walls while driving in a drug-induced psychosis.
In giving Gargasoulas six life sentences at Victoria’s Supreme Court on Friday, Judge Mark Weinberg said the killings were ‘one of the worst examples of mass murder in Australian history’.
‘You made no attempt to avoid people or to slow down. You simply ploughed through them – quite deliberately,’ the judge said.
‘The horror of what you did has profoundly affected many. I must ensure that the public are adequately protected from you.
‘I’m convinced, as were the jury, that you knew full well what you were doing.
‘Whatever your state was during the offending – you are now genuinely psychotic. Your condition is not likely to improve in the forseeable future. It is likely to worsen.’
Grieving relatives recently told the court of their pain, with the brother of Japanese victim Yosuke Kanno saying he will ‘continue suffering from this until I die’
Zachary Matthew Bryant (pictured with his mother Nawwar) was left brain dead after the pram he and his sister Zara were in was struck by James Gargasoulas’ stolen car in 2017
Family of the victims filled the Supreme Court as Gargasoulas was sentenced for his crimes.
Grieving relatives recently told the court of their pain, with the brother of Japanese victim Yosuke Kanno saying he will ‘continue suffering from this until I die’.
Robyn Davis, the mother of victim Jess Mudie, said her daughter died three weeks before her 23rd birthday.
‘Never in my wildest nightmares did I think I would have to bury one of my precious children,’ she told a plea hearing in January.
In a letter read to the court, Gargasoulas insisted he was not evil and blamed ‘government oppression’ for the murders.
Gargasoulas pleaded not guilty to killing Zachary, Tahlia, Ms Mudie, Mr Kanno, 25, Matthew Si, 33, and Bhavita Patel, 33. Pictured: A memorial for the victims
He also maintained he was the Messiah and acted on the wishes of God on the day of the massacre, but said he was in a ‘bad headspace’.
Gargasoulas pleaded not guilty to killing Zachary, Tahlia, Ms Mudie, Mr Kanno, 25, Matthew Si, 33, and Bhavita Patel, 33.
But in November it took a jury less than an hour to unanimously find him guilty of the six murders and 27 counts of reckless conduct endangering life.
An earlier jury found Gargasoulas, who suffers treatment-resistant paranoid schizophrenia, was fit to stand trial.
HOW MELBOURNE’S BOURKE STREET RAMPAGE CASE UNFOLDED
January 20 – Gargasoulas deliberately strikes dozens of pedestrians in the CBD, killing five and injuring scores
– Police set up a three-square-kilometre exclusion zone over eight city blocks and begin scouring for evidence
January 21 – Victorian State Coroner Sara Hinchey opens her own investigation into the event
January 23 – The accused is given medical clearance to be interviewed before he’s charged with five counts of murder
January 31 – Bhavita Patel becomes the sixth victim after her family turns off life support
February 9 – Police say they’re speaking to more than 900 witnesses and examining more than 70 videos and pictures
February 17 – DPP John Champion updates the Supreme Court in a special hearing; says the case is complex and ‘biggest investigation of its type’
March 31 – Additional charges laid against Gargasoulas
July 19 – Coroner’s inquest begins and adjourns after two days
December 15 – Gargasoulas pleads not guilty in Melbourne Magistrates Court to six counts of murder and numerous counts of injuring pedestrians
June 22 – A Supreme Court jury fails to determine if Gargasoulas is mentally fit to stand trial
October 29 – A second jury takes less than five hours to find Gargasoulas mentally fit to stand trial
November 7 – Gargasoulas pleads not guilty before Supreme Court jury on day one of his trial on six charges of murder and 27 counts of reckless conduct endangering life
November 13 – A jury takes less than an hour to find Gargasoulas guilty of all charges
February 22 – Gargasoulas is sentenced