Saeed Noori, 37, was jailed for at least 30 years on Thursday for mowing down 16 pedestrians at Melbourne’s busiest intersections before Christmas 2017.
Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth on Thursday passed the sentence for the horror he caused at 4.40pm on 21 December, 2017, when he drove his mother’s car into the intersection of Flinders and Elizabeth streets as dozens of people crossed the road.
Despite saying “Allahu Akbar” (In Allah’s Name) following the incident, Noori was not charged with terrorism offences and pleaded guilty to one charge of murder, 11 charges of recklessly causing serious injury and five of reckless conduct that endangered life. A longtime user of ice, Noori had not used the drug for two days before the incident and had previously experienced drug-induced psychoses. He had also been diagnosed with mental health problems.
Pedestrians struck by the Suzuki Vitara SUV that Noori was driving included international tourists and a four-year-old boy, all of them badly injured.
Grandfather of three Antonio Crocaris, 83, was just one of the many people injured that day. However, unlike the others, his injuries proved fatal and he died in hospital just eight days later.
Eye witnesses described chaos and flying bodies.
Justice Hollingworth told Noori that “deliberately driving a vehicle into a crowd of people is a dreadful crime, one which undermines the rights of ordinary citizens in a civilised society to be able to go about their normal daily activities in public, without the fear of being harmed.”
Noori, who will be released when he is over 60 years of age, kept his head and eyes downcast as judgment was being passed.
“Your actions have indeed horrified and traumatised many people,” Justice Hollingworth said.
“The offending was entirely unprovoked and displayed a callous disregard for the sanctity of human life. Whatever your motive was for committing these offences, it had nothing to do with the particular victims.”
His mother collapsed after the sentence was passed.