James ‘Dimitrious’ Gargasoulas has apologised for killing and injuring 33 people last year. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AAP
James ‘Dimitrious’ Gargasoulas has apologised for killing and injuring 33 people last year. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AAP

Driver apologises for Melbourne rampage

In a rambling defence of his actions from the witness box, Melbourne's Bourke Street rampage driver James Gargasoulas has apologised for killing and injuring 33 people last year.

He told the Supreme Court on Monday he had permission to hit but not kill people, from a premonition half an hour before the January 20 attack.

"I apologise from my heart but that's not going to fix anything ... neither will a lengthy sentence fix what I done," the 28-year-old told his murder trial.

Earlier in court, jurors sat with hands over their mouths watching the final moments of Melbourne's Bourke Street rampage showing victims being struck.

Gargasoulas watched closely before his expected testimony on Monday afternoon for an "explanation" of the 2017 attack.

Six people died and 27 were injured when Gargasoulas drove a stolen maroon Holden Commodore down the busy pedestrian mall and footpath at lunchtime on January 20.

He is facing a Supreme Court trial, having pleaded not guilty to six charges of murder and 27 of reckless conduct endangering life.

 

James ‘Dimitrious’ Gargasoulas arrives at the Supreme Court in Melbourne. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AAP
James ‘Dimitrious’ Gargasoulas arrives at the Supreme Court in Melbourne. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AAP

Families sat through an emotional morning as Detective Sergeant Sol Solomon talked jurors through CCTV footage showing the rampage unfold. One by one, he pointed out all 33 victims, narrating the moments they were struck and the aftermath.

The graphic, confronting footage was played close to three dozen times, over two hours.

Jessica Mudie, 22, was struck and killed as she left a business meeting with colleagues.

Her twin sister Emily and brother held hands as they watched the footage, showing people rushing to her aid.

Beside them, Matthew Bryant, whose three-month-old son Zachary was killed and two-year-old daughter Zara was injured, clutched a tissue and stared at the floor.

Several jurors gasped and flinched as the footage showed pedestrians being struck.

Others watched with hands clasped tightly over their mouths. Det Sgt Solomon went to hospital with Gargasoulas, who was shot during his arrest at the end of the rampage, brought about by a combination of mechanical failure and police ramming the vehicle.

He said Gargasoulas was calm and quietly spoken.

"I know I've done wrong, but you must understand why. That was a f***ed up thing," the homicide detective recalled Gargasoulas telling him. Justice Mark Weinberg opened the third day of the trial with a note about Friday's Bourke Street attack.

"The terror events that occurred in Melbourne on Friday are absolutely nothing to do with this case," he said, noting any suggested links were "completely untrue".

The trial continues.