James Gargasoulas, the man who committed the 2017 Bourke St Massacre in Melbourne that resulted in the deaths of six people, has been handed six separate life sentences in court today; one for each count of murder he was convicted of.
Justice Mark Weinberg handed Gargasoulas the life sentence in the Melbourne Supreme Court, noting that the crime was “one of the worst examples of mass murder in Australia’s history,” and did not accept that his drug-affected state was a mitigating factor in handing down the sentence.
Justice Weinberg lashed Gargasoulas, who has made increasingly unhinged statements in court as the trial progressed, asserting “you were not suffering from a mental illness at the time of the attack, you were suffering from a drug-induced psychosis.” However Weinberg did not that Gargasoulas was now “genuinely psychotic” and that his condition “is not likely to improve in the foreseeable future.“
Justice Weinberg also asserted that Gargasoulas “knew full well” what he was doing when he committed the heinous act on January 20th, 2017, and that “I do not accept that you are genuinely remorseful.” However he also added that “I am not convinced in your current condition you are capable of remorse.“
On the day in question, Gargasoulas lead police in a lengthy, hours-long car chase in a stolen vehicle that culminated in him being spotted doing burnouts and doughnuts at the intersection of Swanston and Flinders Streets. Gargasoulas then drove up Swanston St, before turning onto the pedestrian-only Bourke St Mall, mowing down a large amount of people in the process.
In total, six people were killed in the attack – including a three-month-old baby boy and a ten-year-old girl – while a further 36 people were injured.
Gargasoulas will spend a minimum of 46 years in prison before he will be eligible for parole. He will be 74 years old when that occurs. Prosecutors had previously called for a sentence of life with no possibility of parole.