Man who mowed down pedestrians in Melbourne gets life sentence

Photo: YouTube/ alind tiwari.
  • The vehicle attack took place four days before Christmas on December 21, 2017.
  • Noori ploughed into pedestrians at 50kmh an hour as they crossed the road.
  • He will now serve at least 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

Saeed Noori, the man who ploughed over pedestrians in Melbourne just before Christmas in 2017, has been sentenced to life in prison for murder and causing serious injury.

Noori, who drove his mother’s Suzuki Vitara SUV into a crowd of 70 people, was sentenced by Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth on Thursday.

The incident took place on December 21, on the Thursday before Christmas, at the intersection of Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street — one of Melbourne’s five busiest intersections.

Judge Hollingworth described the attack for the court in horrific detail.

As Noori approached the intersection, the lights turned red and he stopped behind two other cars for about seven seconds. Then he suddenly pulled out from behind the car in front of him and drove onto the tram tracks of Flinders Street. From there, he accelerated quickly towards the intersection, reaching a speed of 50kmh before he hit the first pedestrian.

“It is clear from the CCTV footage that you did not at any time attempt to stop, slow down, or avoid people in the intersection,” Judge Hollingworth told the court, according to the sentencing document.

It continues: “Your actions have had devastating consequences for so many people.”

Noori then swerved to the left — either to hit more people or to avoid a tram stop — and collided with bollards that protect the tram stop.

The whole event, from the moment he first pulled out to the moment the car collided, lasted no more than 20 seconds.

Noori pleaded guilty to one count of murder, 11 counts of recklessly causing injury and five counts of reckless conduct endangering life.

Justice Hollingworth said that many people who were at the scene were left scarred by the incident.

“Many victims likened it [the attack] to a horror movie, one that keeps replaying in nightmares or flashbacks and keeps them awake at night,” Justice Hollingworth told Noori.

“Many of them lost their sense of optimism and trust … you shattered their sense of safety,” the judge said.

The 37-year-old will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years in prison. By that time, he will be in his 60s.

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