James Gargasoulas is found GUILTY of murdering six people in Melbourne’s Bourke Street rampage
- James Gargasoulas, 28, has been found guilty of murdering six people
- Gargasoulas has also been found guilty of endangering the life of 27 others
- He went on a rampage through Melbourne’s Bourke Street in January 2017
James Gargasoulas, who went on a rampage through Melbourne’s Bourke Street and mowed down pedestrians, has been found guilty of murdering six people and endangering the life of 27 others.
A Supreme Court jury took just over an hour to find the 28-year-old, who admitted killing six people in the rampage on January 20 last year, guilty of all charges.
Despite admitting his actions driving through the busy pedestrian mall and along footpaths caused death and injury, he pleaded not guilty to six charges of murder and 27 of reckless conduct endangering life.
James Gargasoulas (pictured) has been found guilty of murdering six people and endangering the life of 27 others
Gargasoulas drove a maroon Holden Commodore into Bourke Street, Melbourne at lunch-time rush on January 20, 2017
Families of the victims welcomed the verdict.
‘Today, the jury formally recognised that on 20 January, 2017, James Gargasoulas murdered six innocent people and recklessly endangered the lives of 27 others,’ according to a statement from lawyer Genna Angelowitsch, who represents the families of five victims.
‘His callous actions on that day shattered the lives of the family and friends whose loved ones he stole.
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‘The families of the victims are grateful to all those whose hard work secured today’s outcome, and for the ongoing support they have received during this difficult time.
‘They appreciate the continued respect of their privacy as they prepare for the sentencing process,’ said the lawyer, who represents the families of victims Zachary Bryant, Jess Mudie, Matthew Si, Bhavita Patel and Yosuke Kanno.
During the trial, Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd QC told jurors it was ‘the clearest case of criminal liability that you will ever come across’.
A Victorian Supreme Court jury took just over an hour to find Gargasoulas (pictured), who admitted killing six people in the rampage on January 20 last year, guilty of all charges
Gargasoulas claimed he had a premonition half an hour before the Bourke Street attack giving him permission to run people down
Lawyer Genna Angelowitsch, who represents the families of five victims, said the jury formally recognised that on 20 January, 2017, James Gargasoulas murdered six innocent people
The defence did not challenge the prosecution case, and Gargasoulas took the witness stand to offer an ‘explanation’ in which he said he was sorry for his actions.
Gargasoulas told the court on Monday he hadn’t intended for anyone to die, but understood that ‘in a sense, yes’ he knew when he was doing it that was the probable outcome.
‘I apologise from my heart but that’s not going to fix anything… neither will a lengthy sentence fix what I done,’ he said.
He claimed he had a premonition half an hour before the Bourke Street attack giving him permission to run people down in order to evade police, but that he didn’t have permission to kill anyone.
Earlier jurors flinched and gasped as confronting and graphic footage of pedestrians being struck on January 20 last year was played close to three dozen times.
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 2018 – 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
January 29 – Two-day plea hearing scheduled for Gargasoulas
Despite admitting his actions driving through the busy pedestrian mall and along footpaths caused death and injury, Gargasoulas (pictured) pleaded not guilty to six charges of murder and 27 of reckless conduct endangering life
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