| 31.07,18. 02:24 PM |
Flinders Street car attack: Accused driver Saeed Noori has paranoid schizophrenia, court told
Photo: Nineteen people including Mr Noori were taken to hospital after the incident. (Twitter: @sirVIX_a_lot)
The man accused of deliberately driving a car into pedestrians on Flinders Street in Melbourne's CBD, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others, has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, a court has been told.
But the court is still waiting on a psychiatric assessment to determine if Saeed Noori can plead not guilty by reason of mental impairment.
The 33-year-old is facing one charge of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder over the alleged attack at the busy intersection of Flinders and Elizabeth streets on December 21 last year.
Mr Noori was initially charged with 18 counts of attempted murder, but homicide squad detectives upgraded one of those charges in January after the death of 83-year-old Antonios Crocaris in hospital.
Mr Noori is also facing other charges including reckless conduct endangering life.
He appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court via video link from custody today.
His lawyer, Dermot Dann QC, told the court his client had a previous diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.
"Expert opinion is this man has a major mental illness," Mr Dann told the court.
However, the court heard Mr Noori's "intent" was still an issue and it was yet to be established whether a defence of mental impairment would be open to him.
The court heard a "radicalisation" witness would give evidence in the case, along with police and paramedics, who would testify about his demeanour on the day.
Mr Noori, an Australian citizen of Afghan descent, was apprehended by an off-duty police officer shortly after the vehicle he was driving crashed.
The off-duty police officer had to undergo surgery for an injury to his finger that he sustained while arresting Mr Noori. Nineteen people were hospitalised, including Mr Noori and a four-year-old boy.
Nine of the injured people were foreign nationals from countries including South Korea, China, Italy, India, Venezuela, Ireland and New Zealand.
Mr Noori will return to court for a two-day committal hearing in September.