Jury dismissed after failing to agree if accused driver fit for trial.

The Victorian Supreme Court jury determining if accused Bourke Street driver James Gargasoulas is mentally fit to stand trial has been discharged after failing to agree despite three days of deliberations, reports ABC news.

The jury of eight men and four women began its deliberations on Monday afternoon.

Mr Gargasoulas is charged with six counts of murder and 28 counts of attempted murder after allegedly driving his car at people in the lunchtime crowds in Melbourne’s CBD in January last year.


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His defence lawyers had argued he was mentally unfit to stand trial on the basis that he remained profoundly psychotic and was experiencing intrusive delusions due to his schizophrenia, which remained treatment-resistant.

The court previously heard the 28-year-old believed he was the second coming of Jesus Christ and needed to save the world.

The medical professionals who assessed Mr Gargasoulas all concluded he was not faking his mental illness.

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The jury was unable to reach the unanimous decision required on his fitness to stand trial and, as a result, was discharged by Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry today.

The matter will be back before the court in late July.

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  • Mental facility or jail this guy needs to be locked away.

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  • I hope this doesn’t go on for years. Get a new jury and get on with it.

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  • They need to get this right – so going back before the court again is probably the way to go.

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  • Ths would be a difficult decision to make.

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  • I think this may go on for quite some time.

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  • Better to select a new jury if this one is divided.

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  • Good that the jury got dismissed when they didn’t succeed to agree if this psychotic driver was fit for trial. It’s very complex matter indeed. But in general I think it’s good to treat a person with a mental illness equal as possible to those without a mental illness and with that doing an appeal on normal behaviour.
    I’m from the Netherlands and worked for 20 years in psychiatry. When someone kicked a window in their psychosis, they had to pay, just like everyone else. Or if someone in their psychosis feel for walking naked through the city, we called the police ourselves and they were charged and fined for this. Or if someone in their psychosis assaulted the staff we would report them with the police as well.

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  • He will go through the system again and hopefully we will get some answers

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  • OK then …lock him away in a mental asylum never to be released.

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  • This is ridiculous, those victims need some justice. Can’t they trial him without him present or do a video trial or something.

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  • Surely the people making a decision on fitness to stand trial should be given more time and information on what this means if they are not experienced in this field.

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  • Not fit to stand to trial but fit enough to kill innocent people. Mental illness and/or drug use = to getting away with anything

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  • Our justice system is ridiculous. I feel for the victims and their families.

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  • I hope this doesn’t mean that no justice will be done for the six people that died and all the injured.
    Difficult to know what to say when we are talking about mental illnesses. :-(


    • Possibly it will take longer so they get it right and the case progresses.

    Reply

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