The Bourke Street Mall Attack–I Have One Simple Question



We are all grieved over the car attack in the Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne. Debate has raged on my Facebook page about whether it is terrorism related or not. I have not entered into the debate as I have one simple question that I think Australian’s deserve to have answered, which I think is a bigger question than is this terrorism or not. First some background on the man who was driving the car. (Source: The Age, Sky News, Ninemsn)

Dimitrious ‘Jimmy’ Gargasoulas was well known to police. He was already facing charges, had been bailed by a bail justice last weekend, had bashed a 76 year old man on Wednesday (who apparently used to date Gargasoulas’s Mother) by setting a bible on fire and using the burning Holy Book to burn the man’s face  and had stabbed his brother earlier yesterday, taking a female hostage, before the Bourke Street Mall attack.

He was also well known to Police for drug related issues, family violence assaults and has apparently an extensive history of family violence. According to the Age Newspaper, the Police were aware that his behaviour was growing more erratic and violent over the last few weeks. He had over the last week made violent threats and chilling predictions on Social Media. Some news outlets are saying that he also had a history of mental health issues.

Here is my question:

How was this man out on bail?

The judicial system has yet again let Australia down.

Let me tell you two stories that I have blogged about in the last 12 months that illustrate my point here. I quote from the blogs:

Story 1

Today the front page of the Courier Mail carried the story of a man who, high on ICE, bashed his pregnant girlfriend until she became unconscious and then when she came to, he did it again. And get this. He was on a suspended sentence for domestic violence. So what message did the justice system just deliver to the beaten women of Australia. The female magistrate wished him well and set him free. HE WAS SET FREE. When is the justice system of Australia going to start siding with our vulnerable women? There are 2 women a week killed in our nation by the men who used to love them. Ten News tonight reported that Queensland police receive 350 domestic violence related calls for help every single day. This is not ok!!!! Be outraged Australia about the way we are allowing our women to be beaten and killed. The police seem powerless to help and the justice system seems to be a revolving door for offenders that get a slap on the wrist and released. It’s time we got as outraged about this as we did about a little Syrian boy who drowned on a beach in Turkey.

Click here to read the full blog

Story 2

We were all horrified at news reports a couple of days ok coming out of Penrith where a man put a 10 month old baby on the floor of a shower and turned the hot water on. The man then went outside for a smoke. The baby is currently fighting for life in an induced coma with third degree burns to half his body. He also has bruising to his skull and jaw.

The cause:- the baby had thrown up.

So who is this man who would do such a thing?

I quote Laura Banks writing in the Daily Telegraph. (November 24th Page 2).

“Unemployed and living on welfare, the accused had recently resumed custody of his own son (not this baby) after the child was taken away by the Department of Corrective Services, which refused to comment on the case. It is understood that the man and baby were the only two home at the time of the incident on Sunday and that the man had been dating the baby’s mother for the last five months.

The court heard he had a long history of violence.

Court documents revealed that in the last five years he had been charged with six counts of common assault, two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two of occasioning grievous bodily harm and affray. He was handed a suspended sentence for a reckless wounding charge in 2012”.

Now two things come out of this for me.

1) I don’t know the chronology of these charges but if that all happened in the last five years you have to wonder why he wasn’t in jail and why the suspended sentence in 2012 wasn’t converted to a custodial sentence if any of these events occurred post 2012. Is this another example of the Judicial system failing the community, the police and may I even say Aussie kids?

Click here to read the full blog

When is our Justice system going to get tough on these long term violent offenders?

When is our Justice system going to put the needs of the community before the needs of repeat violent offenders?

Yesterday’s attack is just another example of something that should not have happened had the Judicial System in Australia owned a legal pair of gonads to actually make some tough decision on criminals. Unfortunately the Scales of Justice in Australia greatly favour the violent.

And that is not ok.

Anyway, that’s what I think,

Peter Pilt

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40 replies

  1. Totally agree Peter!!! Outraged that he was given bail!! What will it take to pull up some of these criminals…..the electric chair???

    From Lorraine. 🎨


  2. Why was he out on bail?

    Because under our legal system (which you think highly of Pete [stir stir 🙂 ]) we have a presumption of innocence (which I think is Biblical) and we only lock people up (which isn’t Biblical) as a last resort.

    Actually there are a lot more underlying things that if fixed should result in less of these things happening, but on top of that quick trials with judges deciding the guilt or innocence and the victim setting the penalty and the possibility of short term indentured servitude to pay off the debt if that’s the penalty (slavery I think the Bible refers it to as) might work. (Well God though it would).

  3. Well I am challenging the presumption of innocence when you have a repeat violent offender. And yes I get the gravity of what I just said as like you pointed out it is the basis of our legal system. But shouldn’t “likelihood to re-offend” come into it. Too many of people who are innocent are being killed by people who are presumed innocent but are clearly lot.

    • It is a challenge Peter of what to do, especially in a man-made system rather than following God’s sample given in the OT.

      And yes “people who are innocent are being killed by people who are presumed innocent” but that’s not helped by “Christians” who argue against Godly punishments including capital punishment when appropriate.

      • I am not pro capital punishment. As a Christian I think we should also champion life.

      • As God has no problem with it I don’t either.

      • Where is capital punishment in the New Testament?

      • Same place as bestiality, it isn’t there because it doesn’t need to be dealt with as it already has been.

        In the NT we have God more fully explain things we didn’t quiet understand, and He says some things are not needed any more such as continual animal sacrifices to cover our sin because the blood of Jesus has now washed them away permanently.

        He also introduces new things like baptism and communion.

        Other things there’s been no change to so what He has already said still applies.

        To put it in bloke terms; God is not like a wife needing to be told she’s loved every day (which she should be btw) but like the bloke who told his wife at the wedding “I love you, and if I change my mind I’ll let you know”. In other words, if God says something it applies till He says otherwise.

      • Since when does the OT apply to Christianity? :/

      • Since “in the beginning (when) God created the heavens and the earth”.

        OT / NT is a man made division made on God entering into yet another (therefore new) covenant with man.

      • So we should stone adulterers then?

      • Fortunately (unlike you I guess) I have only seen the affects of adultery second hand, but that does not mean I haven’t seen the devastation in a person and the flow on affect in their life when their spouse cheats on them.

        And it doesn’t stop there. The children are affected, often traumatically, as they see their parents split, sometimes blaming themselves for it and carrying that blame for a lifetime.

        The whole family structure can fall apart with children and grandparents never meeting and the same going for cousins, uncles and aunties etc.

        Children can be turned against one of their parents by the other.

        It can lead to people being depressed and isolated. It can lead to alcohol and drug abuse to try null the pain of the betrayal and rejection and perversely it can lead to promiscuity in the one cheated on in an “I’ll show you” mentality. And this can happen in the children too, not just in the one cheated on.

        Children can change from extrovert to introvert; they can change from studious to drop-outs; and everyone involved can develop massive trust issues, hardening themselves emotionally so that (in their opinion) they won’t get hurt again.

        And then society (and worse the Church) will re-marry the faithless one, wishing them happiness, and in doing so throwing dirt in the face of the one sinned against.

        And for a wider affect, in the town my Mum lived in, she’d see couples break up and expect the “social services department” to supply two homes for the family now, one for each parent, and your taxes pay the cost of that Peter.

        How serious is adultery? Well apart from her death Peter, the only other time you’d be free to re-marry is if Melanie was unfaithful to you and you chose to divorce her. Adultery = death.

        As I understand it the death penalty for adultery wasn’t compulsory but the maximum. If adultery was proved then the offended party could choose to forgive; to divorce; or to execute having to throw the first stone themselves. But as the offended party chooses the penalty they know the history behind it and how much they’ve been hurt and so what they feel is a valid punishment at this time for this person within God’s boundaries.

        I’ve just finished a book by a well know Christian on “Faith”. For some reason in it I read “In Christian societies adultery was once criminalised, until we decided it was a moral failure against God and one’s partner – not an infraction against the state.” (aside – his use of the word “partner” instead of “spouse” says lots to me but …) See that “we decided”! God said …. but we decided differently. Isn’t that sin?

        God’s law said of punishment “like for like” (or in that well known phrase “an eye for an eye”) and God’s specified punishment for adultery was death. That says something about adultery doesn’t it? Committing adultery kills something and the appropriate response is the death of those involved.

        So should we stone adulterers? Well that’s up to the one cheated on, but it should be an option because that’s what God says to do. What I would like to see though is the Church taking it seriously and not allowing an unfaithful Christian to re-marry, ever. It is only by grace (ha!) that they’re still alive but they could/should be dead so in a lot of respects we should treat them as if they were, particularly with respect to marriage and positions within the Church.

        So are my thoughts on the subject today. But I reserve the right to change them as God changes me.

      • Jesus met a woman caught in Adultery. He didn’t stone her. I guess Adrian you still keep the law of the Old Testament. I am more of a grace man and believe that Jesus fulfilled tha law, declaring on the cross it is finished.

      • The start of John 8 is an interesting bit of “scripture” Peter, and I put it in quotes because my Bible (NASB) says that this particular text is not found in the earliest manuscripts, but lets look at it anyway though it’s a long time since I discussed this so may forget stuff.

        What happened? “the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery”.

        First wrong: In Lev 20 we have “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, … the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death”. Where’s the man? The woman was “caught in the act” so they would have known who the man was. Why didn’t they bring him too?
        “It’s the woman’s fault” is a common excuse with males, but sorry, males know about male problems. If anyone should have been brought to Jesus it should have been the man with the added comment “this man is using other men’s wives to satisfy his lack of self control …”.

        Second wrong: The one sinned against was the one who was to bring the offender, not the religious leaders. Where is the woman’s husband/father?

        Third wrong: The offender was to be brought in front of the elders or judges who would decide the guilt or innocence of the person. They were not to be brought to some “random”, declared guilty, and that person challenged to argue against a set fate.

        Interlude: Jesus was not the one sinned against (i.e. the husband or the father if she was single) and he was not a elder/judge in the city. Therefore the case had nothing to do with him.

        Fourth wrong: The offended decides the punishment not the religious leaders. We have the religious leaders demanding stoning, that’s not how it was to work.
        This is where things differ from our system of justice and are so much better. As Hayley Solich mentions above we often can’t get justice because it’s totally out of the victim’s hands as a multitude of officials decide to prosecute, and for what crime, and what the punishment will be. Under the Jewish system (if I remember what I’ve read correctly) the victim brought the charge and if the person was found guilty decided on the appropriate punishment as they were the only one to know what harm the crime caused.

        But what about grace?

        Often I’ve read in the newspapers of women living in fear because they’ve been raped and the person who raped them is being released from gaol. It may have happened a decade ago, but the fear is still there and may remain forever.

        What does God say about rape? “if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then the man who lay with her shall die”.

        The most hypocritical response I’ve heard was that “the man was young and made a mistake”! He raped a girl. Most people would argue against capital punishment for rape.

        I’m using rape here rather than adultery because it’s more horrendous, but there are two things, first a question. When someone is saying the we should show the rapist “grace” what are we saying to the victim? What does it say about their worth? What does it say about who we care for?
        And then another question. Who do people think they are saying that grace should be shown to someone who has violated a woman when it is none of their business? “the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees” had no right to bring the woman to Jesus or to insist that she should be stoned. Aren’t those who insist that “grace” be shown to criminals when the crime is nothing to do with them in the same boat?

        Summary as the above may be longwinded.

        Grace can only be given if it’s ours to give. If a crime was committed against someone else it’s none of our business, and butting in insisting on a harsh punishment or a lax one is the same is it not?

        It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a Gospel message mentioning sin and hell and God’s wrath and punishment. I wonder if this contributes to Christians not wanting to see criminals punished to the extend that God specified? Maybe they don’t know that there is supposed to be punishment in this life?

  4. He is also moslem. Newspapers are slowly starting to admit it…You will get the truth from overseas papers first.

    • I find it interesting Ada, how it takes the Police less time to determine that it “isn’t terror related” then it does to determine how many people are hurt.

    • Sadly no, he’s a schizophrenic off his meds and psychotic. He also claimed to be Christian, Greek (true), Kurdish (really dubious) and The Chosen One who needed people to worship him.
      Careful, your bias is showing.

  5. Completely agree. As someone who has been a victim of crime (husband bashed by a neighbour and victimised repeatedly), there was never an opportunity for us to have our case heard because the Police told us there was limited possibility of a conviction, despite there being witnesses (my children and the perpetrator’s wife and children) and we would aggravate the situation by filing a formal report. We quickly realised there is no justice. The only justice is street justice, which off-the-record one Police officer inferred was the only way we would see justice, but chances are if you administer that justice you will be the one who gets locked up. Our justice system is completely ineffective. Perhaps the SIngaporeans have it right with their public flogging.

  6. Spot on Peter
    I hope something will happen soon
    I will be speaking to our Federal member about this and other soft judicial outcomes

  7. This was a good article Peter – keep it up!
    Our ‘tolerant’ society (except towards Christianity) needs a reality check.

  8. Well said Pete

  9. Couple of points to add. I work in remote areas of Australia with indigenous offenders and there is arguably as much domestic violence committed by women against men as men on women. It just doesn’t get reported by the men due to shame. I was in court recently where an offender who had been sentenced to community service, failed to do even 1 hour and told corrective services officers that he had no intention of doing any. He was summonsed back to court and did not appear. A warrant was issued by court but not issued to give him a chance to hand himself in. He didn’t and the warrant was issued. He was captured 3 months later, brought before the court and told the magistrate that he wouldn’t do any community service. Even his lawyer asked the magistrate to let him out on parole when she sentenced him to prison. Did he get sentenced to prison? No, he was re-sentenced to a $1000 fine, referred to SPER (to pay it off) Many of the offenders I know already owe $30-50,000 in fines. (which they pay off out of their centrelink money at $20 per fortnight. So above example, after going to court, getting sentenced, not doing the sentence, not fronting court to answer for it, police having to arrest him, appearing back in court with prosecutors, and defence lawyers, he got a fine that he will never pay! Justice at its finest.

    • The fact that women initiate domestic violence as much as men do is not politically correct news. A female professional in a USA state found 43%of domestic violence caused by women. Recent figures here show that women do half the domestic murders. What about the terrible mental torment women can put men through (the hen pecked husband etc). Total silence on this by those who are “liberating” women, including those pushing for female pastors. Do advocates for women like Peter Pilt do anything for these men? I hope so!

      • Jeri, I have had a guest blogger talk about his experience in a domestic violence situation. I am not silent on the issue. I will however challenge your statistics and would like you to back up those stats with a source.

  10. If what is said above is true, why was he free at all?
    Why was he not brought before the courts to have these charges decided. Guilty or not guilty?
    Why does it take so long for the wheels of justice to turn in this nation?
    Surely after 200 years we should be more efficient than this!!!

  11. “Victoria’s controversial bail laws could be set for a shake-up in the wake of Friday’s Bourke Street attack.”


  12. It was the same as that idiot who did the Lindt siege in Sydney – he was out on bail after trying to set his ex-wife on fire! Well known to the police, a complete nut case yet was out on bail! Not cool!

    • If he was in jail how could he be available for Channel 7’s Morning show WarOnTerror extravaganza aka the Lindt Café siege? Some people are just destined for bigger things than mere jail if the right contacts get involved.

  13. Thank you for expressing so succinctly the fundamental issues are. I couldn’t agree more.

  14. Reblogged this on Real News Australia and commented:
    He was also well known to Police for drug related issues, family violence assaults and has apparently an extensive history of family violence. According to the Age Newspaper, the Police were aware that his behaviour was growing more erratic and violent over the last few weeks. He had over the last week made violent threats and chilling predictions on Social Media. Some news outlets are saying that he also had a history of mental health issues.

    Here is my question:

    How was this man out on bail?

  15. God forbid that someone of a certain religious persuasion actually be accused of terrorism…

  16. One possible solution to stop the current bail inequities…
    The person who grants bail to people who go on to commit crimes that kill or permanent disable others could be sent a message holding them personally responsible by the family and friends of the victims. This could be repeated on the anniversary of the crimes until the victims are no longer remembered by their friends or family.

  17. And Jill Meagher’s killer, a violent rapist out on bail until he became a violent rapist murderer!!! And the young girl stabbed in broad daylight while going for a run in the park!!!

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