Killer’s cries of racism add to grief

The West Australian - - NEWS - SHAN­NON HAMP­TON

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.

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