THE man who used a stolen car to mow down dozens of pedestrians in Melbourne’s CBD – killing six and injuring 27 – in 2017 will spend at least the next 46 years behind bars after being sentenced for the massacre.
James Gargasoulas, 29, was handed six life sentences – one for each life he took – with a non-parole period of 46 years on Friday morning.
The 29-year-old killed six people and injured 27 more when he mowed down dozens of pedestrians in the Bourke Street mall while in a drug-induced psychosis on January 20, 2017.
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In handing down the sentence, Justice Mark Weinberg described Gargasoulas’ actions as “one of the worst examples of mass murder in Australia’s history”.
— Eliza Rugg (@Eliza_Rugg9) February 22, 2019
Justice Weinberg said the fact Gargasoulas was in a drug-psychosis was no excuse for the “callous and cowardly act”.
“You were not suffering a mental illness at the time you committed these offences. you were suffering fro a dug-induced psychosis,” Justice Weinberg said.
“You knew full well what you were doing. You knew that, by your actions, you were likely to kill or seriously injure those who happened to be in your path.
“You made no attempt to stop or slow down. You simply ploughed through them – quite deliberately.
“I do not accept that you are genuinely remorseful.
“The horror of what you did has profoundly affected many. I must ensure that the public are adequately protected from you.”
Gargasoulas will be able to apply for parole at the age of 76.
*BREAKING*: Bourke St killer James Gargasoulas has been sentenced to six life sentences (for each of the lives he took) and will spend 46 in jail before being eligible for parole.. @10Daily @10NewsFirst pic.twitter.com/Ozr6lTwHM7
— Candice Wyatt (@CandiceWyatt10) February 22, 2019
The family of five of Gargasoulas’s victims have released a statement though their lawyers, saying the sentence is not harsh enough.
“There is no excuse for murder,” the statement said.
“If you are a danger to society you should never be allowed to roam freely.
“The sentence is not harsh enough.
“Our family hopes that no one will ever have to suffer a similar fate as those who lost their loved ones and will continue to struggle with survival.
“We are looking forward to the inquest to shed light on past mistakes and to enforce changes that are needed.”
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) February 22, 2019