'You Will Never Be Forgiven': Bourke Street Killer Faces Families Of Victims In Court
Family members of the Bourke Street rampage dead shared the first victim impact statements on Tuesday, speaking of their grief and sorrow in front of the man responsible.
Emily Mudie, the twin of Jessica Mudie -- a 22-year-old insurance broker from Sydney killed in the attack -- told the court how she still dreams of her sister.
“I still try and sleep as much as I can just for the chance to see Jess again," Emily said during her emotional statement.
“I hate talking about her in the past tense.”
Emily and her brother waited for five hours at Royal Melbourne Hospital after their sister was killed in the city's CBD, when James Gargasoulas mowed down more than 30 pedestrians on January 20, 2017.
A statement was read out on behalf of Jess' mother Robyn, who was informed of her daughter's death over the phone while home in Sydney.
“You will never be forgiven," she told Gargasoulas.
"Never in my wildest nightmares did I think I would have to bury one of my precious children."
"My beautiful, blonde, brown-eyed girl is gone from us forever."
The 28-year-old Gargasoulas was found guilty of killing six people -- including Jessica Mudie, Yosuke Kanno, 25, Bhavita Patel, 33, Matthew Si, 33 and 10-year-old Thalia Hakin.
Three-month-old Zachary Matthew-Bryant was the youngest victim, dying in hospital from head injuries sustained when Gargasoulas ploughed his car into the pram carrying the little boy and his sister.
Following a week-long trial, it took a jury less than an hour to find the Gargasoulas guilty of all six charges of murder and 27 counts of reckless conduct endangering life.
On Tuesday a three-day pre-sentence hearing began, during which 50 victim impact statements are expected to be read to the court.
To accommodate the families of Gargasoulas' victims, the Supreme Court of Victoria had to bring in extra seating.
The parents of Yosuke Kanno, a young Japanese student, were the first family members to address the court.
With the aid of an interpreter, Masayuki and Minako Kanno spoke of how they regret allowing their youngest son to travel to Melbourne to study.
The 25-year-old had dreams of becoming an occupational therapist and was studying English in the city.
His older brother, Junpei, said he will suffer the loss "until I die".
In total, eight statements were read over the course of Tuesday's proceedings, which Gargasoulas sat quietly through.
As well as statements from the families of victims, a further 27 victims injured in the attack are expected to speak about how the incident impacted their lives.
In November, Gargasoulas pleaded not guilty to the six murders, saying he believed he had permission from God during a premonition to hit people with the stolen car he was driving.
Ramesh Patel, the father of victim Bhavita Patel, said he lost his daughter in the "most tragic and horrific circumstances".
"I'm a God-loving person but losing my daughter in this manner has caused me to question my faith," he wrote in a statement read to court.
"Oh, how I wish I could trade places with her."
The hearing comes ahead of Gargasoulas’ sentencing before Justice Mark Weinberg.