Sickening CCTV showed Stipe Lozina, 43, dragging Rana Elasmar, 32, to the ground in a sickening attack last November
A thug who bashed and stomped on a heavily pregnant Muslim woman at a dessert cafe has screamed the same sickening racial slur at her in court he yelled during the violent attack.
Rana Elasmar, 32, was attacked by Stipe ‘Steven’ Lozina, 43, at the Bay Vista cafe in Parramatta in Sydney’s west last November while 38 weeks pregnant in a sickening crime caught on CCTV.
He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and on Thursday was jailed for a maximum of three years.
Lozina had shouted ‘Muslims raped my mum’ at the pregnant hijab-wearing woman before attacking her in front of her friends.
The 43-year-old had his prison video link microphone muted after repeating the phrase several times at his Parramatta District Court sentencing hearing.
Judge Christopher Craigie then temporarily adjourned the hearing after continued disruption.
Victim Rana Elasmar holding hands with her husband Azzam as they arrive with supporters at Parramatta District Court on Thursday. Lozina had shouted ‘Muslims raped my mum’ at the pregnant hijab-wearing woman and repeated the same phrase in court
Lozina was accompanied in the prison booth by a correctional officer when the hearing resumed – who said the vile attacker had told her ‘I don’t care’ when advised the hearing would proceed with or without him being present, according to news.com.au.
Lozina had in a previous hearing interrupted Crown prosecutor Sara Gul to ask her about her racial background.
Judge Craigie said Lozina hit Ms Elasmar about 14 times in a ‘very dynamic and swift outburst of violence’ while she ‘cowered in terror’.
The fact Ms Elasmar and her unborn child survived, he said, came through good fortune and the intervention of others, rather than any restraint from Lozina.
‘The victim was justifiably terrified,’ Judge Craigie said.
Lozina previously said he attacked Ms Elasmar because she did not give him money, but deflected several questions from Ms Gul about whether he hated Muslims.
‘I don’t hate them,’ the accused eventually said.
Rana Elasmar, 32, was 38-weeks’ pregnant when Stipe ‘Steven’ Lozina approached her, punched her several times and then stomped on her head
‘But I don’t get on with them. I have no business with them.’
The offender also said he was a ‘chronic paranoid schizophrenic’, felt remorseful for what happened and was ‘too violent’ to walk free in public.
‘I belong in a hospital,’ he told the court in September.
Lozina, who rejected Legal Aid representation on several occasions, will be eligible for parole in June 2022.
Ms Elasmar said it was ‘nerve-racking’ to sit in court, listen to him and re-live the assault.
Ms Elasmar smiles outside court on Thursday. The court heard she was hit about 14 times by Lozina in a ‘very dynamic and swift outburst of violence’ while she ‘cowered in terror’
Ms Elasmar said it was ‘nerve-racking’ to sit in court, listen to him and re-live the assault
But she felt relieved to finish the court process and said her son Zayn was ‘happy and healthy’ despite the incident.
‘I’ve been verbally abused before because of my religion, but this has cemented that the Australian public is really supportive,’ Ms Elasmar said.
‘It’s given me confidence to walk out again and wear my hijab.
‘It’s been a positive in showing that Islam is not something to be feared.’