The father of Thalia Hakin, 10, who was killed in Friday’s deadly car rampage, has described her death as an act of “pure evil”.
Speaking at a private funeral service in Melbourne on Wednesday, Tony Hakin said his daughter with “piercing blue eyes” was killed as a “result of something that was pure evil, because that’s the only thing that could take her”.
He told mourners his wife Nathalie, who remains in hospital with serious injuries, only found out in the early hours of Wednesday that Thalia had died.
“Up to this morning she was not aware … So much of the planning had to be done behind her back,” a grieving Mr Hakin said.
He said she woke on Wednesday morning and said: “I know what happened. Some maniac got my family and I don’t know how to deal with it.”
The tragedy robbed her of “my little angel”, she said.
Mr Hakin, who was in his CBD office as the tragedy unfolded, told mourners his younger daughter, Maggie, 9, bravely called him to tell him she had been run over.
“She said ‘some idiot has run over my leg and it’s broken’, and just run over my toe … I said ‘Maggie, where’s your Mum? and she said ‘Mum is on the ground and people are looking after her’.”
He said Maggie didn’t respond when he asked where Thalia was and he feared the worst, running to where his family had been run over.
“I got this sickly feeling you get when something is wrong,” he said.
“I was frantically looking for my family … My wife was lying on the ground being looked after by paramedics and Maggie was sitting up being helped by people — not just paramedics but average Joe Blows.”
Mr Hakin said emergency workers pointed to a blanket on the ground.
“They said, ‘There’s a 10 year-old over there, she may be yours. Do you know what she was wearing?'”
Mr Hakin frantically looked through his phone for a picture of Thalia but couldn’t think straight and couldn’t remember what she was wearing that day.
He said Maggie escaped much worse injuries or death because she was standing behind her sister and mother and “saw the car coming” and was able to “double back”.
More than 600 members of Melbourne’s Jewish community lined the streets of St Kilda East to farewell Thalia.
Students from Beth Rivkah Ladies College quietly gathered either side of Empress Road at 10am to await the arrival of the Hakin family.
Maggie sat in front of the midday service in a wheelchair with her left leg elevated.
The Rabbi conducting the service was reportedly reduced to tears within seconds of the service, describing how Thalia was “suddenly and tragically taken from our midst”, the Herald Sun reported.
The service followed a procession that went to Beth Rivkah Ladies College where 1000 students, teachers and staff gathered to celebrate Thalia’s life.
Three-month-old baby Zachary Bryant was the first victim farewelled at a service on Tuesday, with his parents describing him as the most beautiful, loving, happy and perfect little baby.
Matthew Si, 33, Sydneysider Jess Mudie, 22, and an unnamed Japanese national, 25, also died in the attack.
It’s understood Mr Si’s family will be holding a private funeral.
Eighteen people remain in hospital, two of them listed as critical.
Dimitrious “Jimmy” Gargasoulas, 26, was charged with five counts of murder on Monday and is likely to face more charges as police continue investigating.
The accused man had been bailed just five days earlier.
The volunteer justice who permitted his release has stepped down from the roster and is understood to be deeply distressed.
Victoria on Monday announced bail justices would be dumped for serious matters and a new night court set up with on-call magistrates to deal with bail applications.
Victoria Police also defended its pursuit policy after criticism officers failed to stop the accused man despite numerous opportunities but the police union wants a change to allow more leeway to halt offenders in cars.
More than $1 million has been raised for victims through the official Bourke Street fund and other crowdfunding sites.
Mr Gargasoulas’ case is due to return to court in August.
– with AAP