Killer’s cries of racism add to grief
A man who killed a 51-year-old mother of two in her driveway by running over her during a botched car theft yesterday ripped off his shirt and threw it on a courtroom floor before abusing the jury who convicted him of murder.
Marija Karovska, pictured below, was trying to stop Micheal Spratt from stealing her son’s car from her Mirrabooka property in February last year when the thief reversed over her, pinning her underneath the vehicle in front of her two adult children.
Spratt, 26, admitted stealing the car but stood trial in the Supreme Court to defend allegations he was a murderer, claiming he had not realised Mrs Karovska was at the back of the Subaru when he backed out of her Cedar Court driveway.
But after hearing six days of evidence, it took a jury just two hours to convict Spratt of the charge.
As Mrs Karovska’s family cried in the public gallery, Spratt immediately declared, “I’m going to appeal this”, before sitting down in the dock to unbutton his blue shirt, exposing the black Adidas T-shirt underneath.
He threw the shirt on the ground, before calling the jury “racist f .... ” and racist c .... ” as they filed out of the courtroom. Justice Joseph McGrath ordered Spratt to “desist” and told the jurors to ignore the killer’s abuse, thanking them for their service.
Spratt continued to yell after the jury left as he asked why he was getting the blame. During the trial, the court was told Mrs Karovska was killed after going outside to retrieve her purse and mobile phone, which she believed were in her Corolla.
As she walked outside, she saw someone inside the Subaru parked on her driveway and began screaming that someone was trying to steal it.
Mrs Karovska’s daughter, Dijana, ran out and saw her mother banging on the car when it reversed, knocking her to the ground. Spratt then moved the car forwards before quickly reversing for the second time over Mrs Karovska, who became wedged underneath the middle of the car.
The jury was told Mrs Karovska’s son, Daniel, had come running out and tried to open the driver’s door.
When he was unable to get in, he jumped into the back passenger side and began punching Spratt before placing him in a headlock.
Spratt claimed it was the scuffle that may have caused the car to reverse a second time — not his deliberate action.
“I lost control because I was getting hit and choked,” he testified.
“I was getting attacked.” The jury was told that because of Mrs Karovska’s size, and the fact the Subaru had been lowered, her children had to make the devastating decision to move the car off their mum because they could not pull her out from under it.
The pair tried desperately to save their mother, performing CPR before she was taken to Royal Perth Hospital. Mrs Karovska died on the way.
Her purse and mobile phone were found in Spratt’s Nike bag which was in the Subaru.
Spratt — who is facing life behind bars — was remanded in custody until he is sentenced on September 6.
Dijana Karovska, daughter of murder victim Marija Karovska, leaves court.
Micheal Spratt is arrested after the incident.