Bourke St killer to read letter to victims
BOURKE St killer James Gargasoulas has asked to read a two-page letter to friends and family members of his victims today.
The 29-year-old who murdered six people on January 20, 2017 when he sped through the Melbourne pedestrian mall while experiencing drug-induced psychosis last addressed the families in November.
At the time, he told them: "I apologise from my heart but that's not going to fix anything … neither will a lengthy sentence fix what I done."
Gargasoulas has spent the past two days in the witness box at the Victorian Supreme Court as victims read emotional impact statements. The three-day pre-sentencing hearing is expected to wrap up today.
The court yesterday heard from the family of Gargasoulas' youngest victim, baby Zachary Bryant, who was killed at just three months of age.
His mother Nawwar and father Matthew stood metres from the man who snatched their son's young life away, as they fought back tears.
They told the convicted killer life will never be the same after he sped through Bourke St mall, knocking down pedestrians and killing six people, including little Zachary.
"Zach was unresponsive, surrounded by doctors and hospital staff," Matthew told the court of the moment he saw his son.
"All I could do was pray. Pray for a miracle but in my heart I knew my son had left us."
Nawwar relived the heartbreak of watching her son die in her arms.
"My Zachary was gone," she said. "My beautiful, innocent, perfect baby was gone. I watched his little chest stop moving as he lay in my arms. He was still just perfect."
Two years on, the family's grief is unending. They explain to their daughter that her brother died at the hands of a killer, but she doesn't understand.
"Do you know Zachary died?" she sometimes asks her father. "Mummy is sad," she says.
Matthew doesn't know what to say next.
"How do you explain that to a toddler?"
Gargasoulas will be sentenced after the hearing. His lawyers yesterday submitted to the court that their client should be given a non-parole period rather than be locked up for life with no chance of ever being let out.
Prosecutors say he doesn't deserve to be free, given the multiple murders of children, his reckless conduct and his unenviable criminal record.
Gargasoulas' six victims were Matthew Si, 33, Jess Mudie, 22, Yosuke Kanno, 25, Bhavita Patel, 33, Thalia Hakin, 10, and Zachary Bryant, three months.
The hearing continues before Justice Mark Weinberg.
More to come.