A mother whose car was used by her ISIS sympathiser son to mow down pedestrians in Melbourne collapsed in court as he was sentenced to life in prison.
Saeed Noori, 37, killed an elderly grandfather and injured 15 others when he drove his mum’s SUV into pedestrians outside Flinders Street station on December 21, 2017.
In the Supreme Court of Victoria this morning, Noori was sentenced to life behind bars.
He must spend at least 30 years behind bars before being eligible for release on parole in 2049.
The punishment handed down by Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth sparked an emotional reaction from the killer’s mother, who fainted.
Noori, a father-of-three, bowed his head for the entirety of his sentencing, before waving to family members as he was escorted out of court.
Justice Hollingworth said it was “sheer good fortune” that more people were not killed or injured by Noori.
She listed a range of horrific physical and mental injuries suffered.
Some victims have likened the scene to a horror movie – one which keeps replaying in nightmares and flashbacks Justice Hollingworth said.
Most of them either dread, or avoid, going back into the CBD, or to that particular intersection.
“Deliberately driving a vehicle into a crowd of people is a dreadful crime, one which undermines the right of ordinary citizens … your actions have horrified and traumatised many people.”
Noori was arrested by off-duty police officer Francis Adams, who had just alighted a tram nearby, where the driver allegedly called out “Allahu Akbar”.
He pleaded guilty to one count of murder, 11 counts of recklessly causing serious injury and five counts of conduct endangering life.
Retired widower Antonios “Anton” Crocaris, 83, died from head injuries sustained during the attack.
Noori came to Australia from Afghanistan as a refugee in 2004, becoming an Australian citizen two years later.
Justice Hollingworth noted Noori’s mental health issues, including schizophrenia, which were compounded by years of heavy drug use and a gambling addiction.
What happened was not due to a drug-induced psychosis. There is nothing specific in the days leading up that seems to have triggered your particular actions that day she told Noori.
The offending was entirely unprovoked, and displayed a callous disregard for the sanctity of human life.
Justice Hollingworth said Noori was motivated by beliefs that he was being spied on by ASIO, telling police the Australian government was racist.