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Australia'Don't do this': Detective's desperate text messages to Gargasoulas before Bourke Street tragedy

11:42  08 november  2018
11:42  08 november  2018 Source:   theage.com.au

Bourke Street driver James Gargasoulas apologises for rampage, tells jury of 'premonition'

Bourke Street driver James Gargasoulas apologises for rampage, tells jury of 'premonition' James Gargasoulas says he had a premonition from God of running people over in Melbourne's CBD half an hour before driving down 33 pedestrians, telling a jury "I apologise from my heart".

The 26-year-old was not in Melbourne magistrates court on Monday where he was formally charged with murdering five people.

After this , he said that he flicked it on the floor and was then punched by Gargasoulas .[5]. In the days before the attack, Gargasoulas began to post messages on Facebook about "religion, God, Satan, heaven ^ " Bourke Street tragedy : Driver appeared on TV hours before pedestrians killed".

Video provided by Nine News

In the minutes before he turned into the Bourke Street Mall a police officer sent James Gargasoulas a desperate text message.

"Don’t do this," he pleaded.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court heard Mr Gargasoulas led police on a chase through Melbourne on the morning of January 20, 2017, ahead of the lunchtime rampage that killed six people and injured 27 others.

Detective Senior Constable Murray Gentner was in pursuit on that Friday morning and repeatedly tried to convince Mr Gargasoulas to surrender via a phone call and a series of text messages.

Gargasoulas 'not well' court told, but he is expected to give evidence

Gargasoulas 'not well' court told, but he is expected to give evidence Accused Bourke Street driver is expected to take the stand in his own defence to provide an ‘‘explanation’’ for why he killed six people and injured 27 others. The move was foreshadowed by Mr Gargasoulas’ barrister, Dr Theo Alexander, during opening arguments at his trial in Victoria’s Supreme Court. The 28-year-old, dressed in shiny black track pants, a tight fitting white collared shirt and sneakers, began nodding as counsel spoke on his behalf. ‘‘Mr Gargasoulas, for better or worse, is absolutely committed to his explanation,’’ Dr Alexander said. He did not describe what that explanation would be.

Detectives have appealed for the person who revealed Dimitrious "James" Gargasoulas movements on the day before the Bourke Street massacre to A witness sent an image from Mr Gargasoulas ' Facebook page to police that outlined details about what he did on January 19, the day before the

' Gargasoulas ' alleged actions before the Bourke St Mall tragedy Evaded police before Christmas in his car Did a burnout outside the St Kilda police station Gargasoulas had been driving erratically around Melbourne after allegedly stabbing his brother

"James, you have to call me now, bro. We don’t have time," the detective texted.

"Don’t be silly, I’ll help you fix everything."

'Don't do this': Detective's desperate text messages to Gargasoulas before Bourke Street tragedy © Justin McManus James Gargasoulas arrives at the Supreme Court on Thursday. Detective Gentner told the court he believed he could negotiate a surrender because he had a rapport with Mr Gargasoulas as a result of previous interactions.

"You have to call me now," the detective texted at 1.04pm.

At 1.19pm the detective said: "I’m four metres behind you. Stop."

At 1.20pm he pleaded: "I'm telling you, you're making a big mistake".

Detective Gentner sent a flurry of messages over the following minutes. "Stop please. Stop for me."

Mr Gargasoulas responded in a series of texts where he referred to himself as a "saviour" and that the planet was destined to be destroyed by a comet. "I'm one man out and you need an army," Mr Gargasoulas texted.

Gargasoulas had no drug psychosis two days after Bourke St, court told

Gargasoulas had no drug psychosis two days after Bourke St, court told James Gargasoulas was calm, rational and not suffering from "drug-induced psychosis" two days after the Bourke Street incident, expert tells court.

The girlfriend of Dimitrious Gargasoulas , who is accused of deliberately driving a car into pedestrians killing five in Melbourne, claims he threatened to kill her and himself if she left his sight. On Saturday afternoon the death toll of the accused Melbourne driver' s rampage rose to five victims after the

Ex-partner of driver' s mother tells of the frightening moment accused killer took his car before Dimitrious Gargasoulas , 26, allegedly drove a car through crowds of pedestrians Neighbour claims Gargasoulas threatened to gouge eye out before stealing car

Only minutes before Mr Gargasoulas turned into Bourke Street, Detective Gentner made what turned out to be a last ditch plea: "Don’t do this. Meet me. Stop doing this. Stop."

Mr Gargasoulas faced the Supreme Court charged with six counts of murder and 27 counts of reckless conduct endangering life. He has pleaded not guilty to all 33 charges.

'Don't do this': Detective's desperate text messages to Gargasoulas before Bourke Street tragedy © AAP Detective Senior Constable Murray Gentner leaves the Supreme Court on Thursday. Detective Gentner, who witnessed the carnage in Bourke Street from his position in one of the police cars chasing Mr Gargasoulas, said that until the maroon Holden Commodore mounted the footpath he believed the accused was just an "attention seeker".

The detective went on to describe what it was like to follow behind Mr Gargasoulas as he sped up and hit pedestrians.

"At that stage, that was when it was clear that people had no chance of getting out of the way and we were in a very bad situation.

Bourke Street driver James Gargasoulas found guilty of murder

Bourke Street driver James Gargasoulas found guilty of murder Bourke Street driver James Gargasoulas has been found guilty of murdering six pedestrians and recklessly injuring another 27 when he sped along a footpath in Melbourne's CBD last year.

Man charged over Bourke Street rampage which killed five including a baby boy mysteriously fails to Dimitrious 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas , 27, didn' t face court after alledged murder Gargasoulas is accused of ploughing car through Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne

As the Bourke Street Mall and surrounds turn from a crime scene to public space, people will come – at first to grieve, place flowers or Social media is awash with comments from people wondering why police did not confront Gargasoulas outside the Flinders Street Station when he was doing burnouts

"I recall seeing someone probably go about nine metres in the air. At that point, he was clearly going very, very fast.

"Certain [victims] stood out to me at the time, and they still do to this day. There was just so many people being hit, but there was ones that were very clearly ... clearly struck."

During the testimony, Mr Gargasoulas remained motionless, his head facing downwards as he read a book on Australian constitutional law sitting on the table in front of him.

The court heard Mr Gargasoulas was planning to take the stand in his own defence to provide a reason for his actions.

The 28-year-old, dressed in shiny black track pants, a tight-fitting white collared shirt and sneakers, began nodding as his defence barrister Dr Theo Alexander foreshadowed the move in his opening address.

"Mr Gargasoulas, for better or for worse, is absolutely committed to his explanation," Dr Alexander said.

He did not describe what that explanation would be.

'Don't do this': Detective's desperate text messages to Gargasoulas before Bourke Street tragedy © Justin McManus Bourke Street on Friday, January 20, 2017. Dr Alexander said Mr Gargasoulas was clearly "not a well man", but that his client believed he had "very important reasons" for what happened in Bourke Street.

Vic's Bourke St accused pleads not guilty

Vic's Bourke St accused pleads not guilty Melbourne's accused Bourke Street rampage driver James Gargasoulas has pleaded not guilty to a car attack that killed six and injured dozens.

Accused Bourke Street Mall driver CHARGED with five counts of murder over Melbourne CBD rampage. Dimitrious 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas , 26, is charged with five counts of murder. Two victims of Bourke Street tragedy remain in a critical condition in hospital.

Dimitrious Gargasoulas (R), 26, had a history of drug abuse, violence and mental issues before he allegedly ploughed through dozens of pedestrians on a rampage through Melbourne. The rampage killed four people including a baby and injured another two dozen.

Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd, QC, and Dr Alexander both told the court the facts of the case - including Mr Gargasoulas’ identity as the driver of the stolen car - were not in dispute.

As part of her opening argument, Ms Judd screened CCTV and other video footage showing Mr Gargasoulas striking pedestrians along Bourke Street.

There were audible gasps in the courtroom as the footage was played. Some relatives of the victims chose to leave the court before it was screened.

Ms Judd later described how each of the 33 victims came to be in the street that day and the circumstances under which they were struck, and injured or killed.

"He deliberately drove into pedestrians. In a period lasting only a minute the accused left a trail of death and carnage," Ms Judd said.

Yosuke Kanno, 25, was struck outside Amart Sports. Thalia Hakin, 10, was with her family walking towards the RACV Club when she was hit.

The others killed were three-month-old Zachary Matthew-Bryant, Bhavita Patel, 33, Jessica Mudie, 22, and Matthew Si, 33.

The court was told witnesses described Mr Gargasoulas’ conduct as "relentless" and he "just mowed people down".

The prosecution also outlined what Mr Gargasoulas did in the days and hours before the Bourke Street attack.

'Don't do this': Detective's desperate text messages to Gargasoulas before Bourke Street tragedy © AAP Image/James Ross James Gargasoulas arrives at the Supreme Court on Thursday. On January 17, Mr Gargasoulas told an associate that if he was chased by police again he would keep driving and start running people over.

PM's Bourke St comments outrage imams

PM's Bourke St comments outrage imams Australia's imams have accused Scott Morrison of politicising the Bourke Street attack after the prime minister linked Islam to "religious extremism".

Witness tells of his desperate attempts to save 10-year-old Thalia Hakin. Dimitrious "Jimmy" Gargasoulas remains in hospital with a gun shot wound to the arm. Ms Baylis and her partner had just arrived from Adelaide and were walking in Bourke St when the car ploughed through the crowd of

Gargasoulas outside Flinders Station before the Bourke Street attack. Gargasoulas replied: “ This matter is seprate to gods saying you dare insult me you shall pay for your sins then i would like my bond money back.” Homicide Squad detectives are not believed to have interviewed him yet.

The following day he stole the maroon Holden Commodore from Windsor.

Then, in the early hours of January 20, Mr Gargasoulas and his brother Angelo got into an argument at their mother's apartment.

Mr Gargasoulas followed Angelo into the street and attacked him with a large kitchen knife.

Believing he had killed his brother, Mr Gargasoulas went to the Gatwick Hotel in St Kilda where he told an associate: "I'm going to do something drastic. Take everyone out. They can suffer the consequences. Watch me, you'll see me tonight on the news."

The court heard Mr Gargasoulas had been using ice the day before the incident and that he had been a user since 2016.

"At the time of the offences, Mr Gargasoulas was in a drug-induced psychosis," Dr Alexander told the court.

However, he noted that drug use does not amount to a defence to the charges.

"This is sad, tragic and emotional case," he said.

Justice Mark Weinberg addressed Mr Gargasoulas’ drug use during the instructions he gave to the jury: "You should know, and I will tell you in more detail ultimately, that delusions brought about by the use of drugs, self-induced drugs, such as ice, provide no defence to any criminal charge and do not affect criminal responsibility."

The trial continues on Friday.

From Coober Pedy to Bourke Street: how James Gargasoulas became a monster.
Those who knew him as a teenager described him as “friendly” and “funny”, “kind-hearted” or a “nice bloke” and a “good mate” - but he had a larrikin-like wild side, particularly when behind the wheel of a car. But those who knew him while he was deeply into drugs said he turned nasty when he smoked ice, and sometimes became uncontrollable. “Jimmy started going more and more feral,” one said. This man described an incident during which Gargasoulas bashed three men who gatecrashed a party at his house.

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