James Gargasoulas has been found guilty on six counts of murder, over the Bourke Street car rampage in January of 2017 that left six people dead, including a 10-year-old girl and a 3-month-old boy.

A jury at Melbourne’s Supreme Court returned a unanimous verdict of guilty on six counts of murder and twenty-seven counts of reckless conduct endangering life. Not a single one of the charges pressed against Gargasoulas returned a verdict of anything other than guilty. The jury retired to deliberate their verdict just before midday, taking just 57 minutes to consider their decision.

The court found that across the morning of January 20th, 2017, Gargasoulas lead police on a sustained car chase after allegedly stabbing his brother at a house in Windsor and taking his brother’s pregnant girlfriend hostage, who he later released on the Bolte Bridge.

After evading police for several hours, Gargasoulas, driving a stolen Holden Commodore, was spotted by hundreds of civilians doing burnouts at the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Street. From there, Gargasoulas drove up Swanston Street, turned into the pedestrian-only Bourke Street Mall, and struck upwards of 33 people. 6 of whom subsequently died.

After his arrest, Gargasoulas was initially being assessed under the mental health act. However subsequent rulings deemed him fit to stand trial. Gargasoulas did not use his significant mental health issues as a defence at any point in the court proceedings.

In a wild, 14-minute statement to court while on the witness stand, Gargasoulas mentioned having a premonition of committing the attack, referenced Government oppression and terrorism, and called for the death penalty to be reinstated and applied to him.

I apologise from my heart. But that will not fix anything. Neither will a lengthy sentence for what I’ve done.

God has given me the answer to prevent terrorist attacks as well as unpredictable attacks. To defeat terrorism we need to defeat oppression. To defeat oppression we need to reform the government and to do that we need to reinstate God’s royal laws of liberty.

The penalty under God’s royal laws for the crime I have committed is the death penalty. Bring back God’s law means bring back the death penalty as true justice. No more terrorism, no crime, no more pestilence.

Gargasoulas had previously entered pleas of not guilty to all charges.

Those killed in the attack were 25-year-old Yosuke Kanno, 10-year-old Thalia Hakin, three-month-old Zachary Matthew-Bryant, 33-year-old Bhavita Patel, 22-year-old Jessica Mundie, and 33 year-old Matthew Si.


Source: The Age
Image: AAP