A man who killed an elderly man and injured others when he drove through a busy intersection on Flinders Street in Melbourne four days before Christmas last year has pleaded guilty.
During a brief hearing in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Saeed Noori, 33, admitted to one charge of murder, 11 counts of recklessly causing serious injury and five counts of reckless conduct endangering life.
Antonio Crocaris, 83, died after the incident.
Sixteen others were injured – many of them foreign nationals – when Noori drove about 50 kilometres per hour by Flinders Street Station in the city about 4.30pm on December 21.
The 17 charges were read out to Noori, from Heidelberg West, who said the word “guilty” to each count.
Noori had pleaded not guilty to the charges and, in September, was committed to stand trial.
Video released during a committal hearing in the Magistrates’ Court in September showed CCTV footage from a number of locations near the intersection.
The white SUV being driven by Noori was seen pulling into the tram lane of Flinders Street and then accelerating through the intersection at Elizabeth Street as dozens of afternoon commuters walked across the road.
Noori is an Australian citizen but was born in Afghanistan.
During the Magistrates’ Court hearing, the court heard Noori had accessed images and video of terrorism and violent events in Europe and the US.
But in the Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth noted “he has not been charged with terrorism offences as such”.
A two-day plea hearing has been set down to hear from witnesses and victims in February.