The brother of a man murdered during Melbourne’s Bourke Street massacre says he will suffer the loss “until I die”, while the killer hopes to one day be freed from prison.
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 while in a drug-induced psychosis in January 2017.
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 wrote in a statement read to the Supreme Court of Victoria on Tuesday.
He and his younger brother had enjoyed a supportive relationship.
“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.
Gargasoulas’ barrister Theo Alexander has also made a written submission, agreeing that while a life sentence was appropriate, his client should one day have the opportunity for parole.
Dr Alexander argued Gargasoulas’ moral culpability should be reduced because of his mental illness and because his offending was motivated by a deluded desire to “save the world”.
Prosecutors argued that his moral culpability was high, that he knew he was likely to kill, and that his psychosis was drug-induced.
“The conduct of the prisoner was deliberate, calculated and terrifying,” Kerri Judd QC said in a statement.
Court documents revealed Gargasoulas’ criminal history, including that in 2016 he ran a woman off the road in a fit of jealousy.
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.
He previously pleaded not guilty to killing Mr Kanno, Ms Patel, Ms Mudie, three-month-old Zachary Bryant, Tahlia Hakin, 10, and Matthew Si, 33, but was found guilty by a jury.
Gargasoulas argued he believed he had permission from God during a premonition to hit people with the stolen car he was driving.
The plea hearing continues on Wednesday.