News State Victoria Families recount lingering pain of Bourke Street rampage

Families recount lingering pain of Bourke Street rampage

James Gargasoulas leaves the pre-sentence hearing in the Supreme Court in Melbourne on Tuesday. Photo: AAP
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The brother of a man murdered during Melbourne’s Bourke Street massacre says he will suffer the loss “until I die”.

Yosuke Kanno, 25, was the first of six people killed when Dimitrious James Gargasoulas, now 29, drove through the city’s busy pedestrian mall and along footpaths.

The Japanese man’s older brother, Junpei, said following the death of Yosuke, the family line could not be continued as he and his wife could not have children.

“Not being able to have any children, we hoped my younger brother would have a child or children,” he said in a statement read to the Supreme Court of Victoria on Tuesday.

He and his younger brother had enjoyed a supportive relationship.

“I feel deeply saddened,” Junpei said.

“I will continue suffering from this until I die.”

The statement was one of eight read to the court as part of a three-day plea hearing before Gargasoulas is sentenced for crimes including six counts of murder.

About 50 statements from family and friends of victims are expected to be read or tendered to the court.

Plea hearings give victims and their families an opportunity to convey the impact crimes have on their lives.

Ramesh Patel, the father of victim Bhavita Patel, 33, said he lost his daughter in the “most tragic and horrific circumstances”.

“I’m a God-loving person, but losing my daughter in this manner has caused me to question my faith,” he wrote in a statement read to court.

“Oh, how I wish I could trade places with her.”

Robyn Davis, the mother of victim Jess Mudie, 22, said her daughter died just three weeks before her 23rd birthday.

“Never in my wildest nightmares did I think I would have to bury one of my precious children.

“My beautiful, blonde, brown-eyed girl is gone from us forever.”

Gargasoulas sat quietly throughout Tuesday’s proceedings.

In November it took a Supreme Court jury less than an hour to unanimously find Gargasoulas guilty of his crimes.

He had pleaded not guilty to killing Mr Kanno, Ms Patel, Ms Mudie, three-month-old Zachary Bryant, Tahlia Hakin, 10, and Matthew Si, 33.

Gargasoulas said he believed he had permission from God during a premonition to hit people with the stolen car he was driving.

An earlier jury found Gargasoulas, who suffers treatment-resistant paranoid schizophrenia, was fit to stand trial.

The plea hearing continues on Wednesday.