Sickening CCTV showed Stipe Lozina, 43, dragging Ms Elasmar, 32, to the ground
A pensioner who bashed a pregnant Muslim mother and stomped on her head said he attacked because she wouldn’t ‘give him a dollar’ and she ‘could afford it’.
Rana Elasmar was with friends at dessert café Bay Vista Parramatta in Sydney’s west in November 2019 when she was brutally set upon while 38 weeks pregnant.
Sickening CCTV showed Stipe Lozina, 43, dragging Ms Elasmar, 32, to the ground before he began stomping on her head and repeatedly kicking her.
Lozina, who has a long history of mental health issues, pleaded guilty to the unprovoked attack and appeared via video in the Parramatta District Court on Monday.
The court heard he told a prison psychologist the attack was Mrs Elasmar’s fault, The Daily Telegraph reported.
‘She should’ve just given me the dollar, she could afford it,’ Lozina told the psychologist.
Ms Elasmar, who was wearing a hijab at the time, said the man first asked for money before assaulting her and yelling ‘you Muslims wrecked my mum’
Lozina told the court he did not like Muslims because a member of the Islamic community ‘raped my mother’.
He also said Muslims were ‘burning priests alive in Bosnia’.
‘I don’t hate them but I don’t get along with them, I don’t do business with them,’ he said.
He then engaged in a bizarre exchange with crown prosecutor Sara Gul, first asking if she was Filipino, calling her ‘dumb’ and refusing to answer several direct questions about whether he hated Muslims.
Lozina, who has committed 28 violent crimes and threats since 1997, represented himself after refusing legal aid.
He agreed he should in a psychiatric ward.
‘I’m too violent, I drink, I am a smoker,’ he said.
Rana Elasmar, 32, was 38-weeks’ pregnant when Stipe ‘Steven’ Lozina approached her, punched her several times and then stomped on her head
Elasmar told the court on Tuesday she deliberately turned her abdomen away from her attacker and prayed for God to protect her child.
‘If nobody intervened, I could have been killed,’ the mother-of-four said, tearing up.
‘I remember thinking – hit my head as long as you don’t touch my baby.’
She told 9 News outside court on Tuesday that the ‘first thing that you think of as a mother [is to] protect your baby.’
Ms Elasmar, who was wearing a hijab at the time, said the man first asked for money before assaulting her and yelling ‘you Muslims wrecked my mum’.
‘No woman should excuse a man of such behaviour – it is our right to decide what do with our bodies,’ she said.
‘Islamophobia needs to end. Violence against women needs to stop.’
‘If you feel the right to physically or verbally abuse someone because they look a bit different than you, Australia isn’t the right country for you.’
Bay Vista cafe in Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, where Lozina beat the mother-of-four
Following the vicious attack, the bruised woman could not chew her food and suffered lingering migraines and headaches.
She vowed to use her experience to help end violence against women.
‘Unless we take a stand and voice our opinions, nothing is going to change.’
Lozina, who appeared before Judge Christopher Craigie said he attacked Ms Elasmar because she did not give him money.
The offender also said he was a ‘chronic paranoid schizophrenic’ and that he felt remorseful for what happened.
Ms Gul told the court Lozina had also been convicted of verbally abusing two Muslim women at a shopping centre six weeks prior to his assault of Ms Elasmar.
Judge Craigie said the attack was ‘wicked and deplorable’ and that the matter was ‘one of the more difficult cases’ he had faced in a long time.
‘You have no lawyer, you are obviously unwell, and committed a very serious offence, which rightfully appals people,’ he said.
Lozina, who pleaded guilty in June to assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Ms Elasmar, will next face court on October 1.