Australia's car rampage killer sentenced to life in prison

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-22 11:42:20|Editor: ZX
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SYDNEY, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The man responsible for "one of the worst examples of mass murder in Australian history" has been given six life sentences by the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday but will be eligible for parole in 46 years.

James Gargasoulas killed six people and injured 27 others when he deliberately drove his car down a busy footpath in Melbourne in January 2017.

In sentencing Gargasoulas, Justice Mark Weinberg described the crime a "callous and cowardly act" and rejected notions that drug use made him unaware of his actions -- although the defendant's mental health issues were taken into account when determining his eligibility for parole.

"You made no attempt to avoid people, or to slow down. You simply ploughed through them, quite deliberately," Weinberg said.

"It was entirely fortuitous that you did not kill or injure many more."

Following the incident, Gargasoulas was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and has a criminal history stretching back to 2008 including acts of violence. At the time of the offence he was living out of his car.

Among his victims were office workers returning from lunch with colleagues and a three-month-old baby whose pram became lodged in the windshield of the vehicle.

Gargasoulas showed little remorse for his crimes, although at the end of a plea hearing last month he did read from a letter in which he apologized to victims' families.

He will be eligible for parole in 2065.