Flin­ders St killer guilty

Deadly ram­page not ter­ror: court

Herald Sun - - NEWS - RE­BEKAH CA­VANAGH re­bekah.ca­[email protected]

A MAN has ad­mit­ted ac­cel­er­at­ing into pedes­tri­ans, killing a grand­fa­ther, in a deadly pre-Christ­mas ram­page in Mel­bourne.

Saeed Noori, 33, yes­ter­day faced the Supreme Court where he pleaded guilty to one count of mur­der, 11 of reck­lessly caus­ing se­ri­ous in­jury and five of reck­less con­duct en­dan­ger­ing life over the Flin­ders St on­slaught on De­cem­ber 21.

Fam­ily of vic­tim An­to­nios “An­ton” Cro­caris, 83, wiped away tears as they stared down their loved one’s killer as he said the word “guilty” to each charge.

His plea comes al­most a year af­ter he ploughed into pedes­tri­ans cross­ing at the busy junc­tion of Flin­ders and El­iz­a­beth streets about 4.40pm.

Mr Cro­caris, of North­cote, suf­fered crit­i­cal head in­juries and died in hospi­tal nine days later.

Six­teen oth­ers were in­jured, in­clud­ing a four-year-old boy and teenager, 16.

Shock­ing CCTV footage shows Noori stop his ve­hi­cle at the red light along Flin­ders St and wait as the pedes­tri­ans started cross­ing, be­fore ac­cel­er­at­ing up to 52kmh into the crowd.

A pre­vi­ous hear­ing heard how he had tried to hire two big­ger SUVs on the day of the ram­page in an at­tempt to cause max­i­mum dam­age.

But when they only had sedans to of­fer him, he caught pub­lic trans­port to his mother’s home and took her Suzuki Vi­tara SUV. In­ves­ti­gat­ing po­lice also found im­ages of ve­hi­cle-ram­ming ter­ror at­tacks, in Lon­don, Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia, in the US, and Barcelona, on his com­puter.

Wit­nesses re­vealed hear­ing him yell “Al­lahu Ak­bar” as he drove through the pedes­tri­ans.

He later told a po­lice of­fi­cer: “It was de­lib­er­ate. There were voices.”

Yes­ter­day’s court hear­ing heard the in­ci­dent was not be­ing treated as a ter­ror at­tack.

“He hasn’t been charged with ter­ror­ism of­fences,” Jus­tice El­iz­a­beth Holling­worth con­firmed.

Noori, of Hei­del­berg West, had ini­tially pleaded not guilty, with his de­fence coun­sel Der­mot Dann, QC, in­di­cat­ing they would ex­am­ine his fit­ness for trial. The Afghan-born Aus­tralian had been di­ag­nosed with schizophre­nia in 2014.

But last month, Mr Dann told the court they would no longer be look­ing at the men­tal im­pair­ment de­fence and had put a deal to the prose­cu­tion.

Noori was re­manded to reap­pear in court for a three-day plea hear­ing, start­ing on Fe­bru­ary 12, which will hear from dozens of wit­nesses and vic­tims about the im­pact his crimes had on them.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.