A man who bashed a pregnant Muslim woman was not charged under NSW’s race hate laws despite the urging of NSW Police.
A man who bashed a pregnant Muslim woman was not charged under NSW’s race hate laws despite the urging of NSW Police.

Muslim mum attacker’s violent history revealed

A volatile and mentally ill man with a deep-seated hatred for Muslims had a history of violence, including against women, dating back almost three decades.

But while Stipe Lozina made his prejudice against Islam loud and clear, he was not charged under NSW's hate crime laws - despite the urging of police.

Lozina was on Thursday sentenced to three years jail for the vicious attack on a heavily pregnant Muslim woman in October last year.

Rana Elasmar, 32, cowered on the floor of a Parramatta cafe while Lozina threw 14 punches at her before stomping on her head. Mrs Elasmar, who was 38 weeks pregnant at the time, believed Lozina targeted her because she was wearing a hijab.

Six weeks earlier, Lozina had verbally abused two innocent women, who were wearing headscarves, in a western Sydney shopping centre but he was not ­arrested.

Rana Elasmar with her nine-month-old baby Zayn and husband Azzam Elasmar. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Rana Elasmar with her nine-month-old baby Zayn and husband Azzam Elasmar. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

He later attacked Mrs Elasmar and put the life of her unborn baby in danger.

Mrs Elasmar said she was upset but unsurprised the verbal abuse had not been acted on. "I know a lot of people who have been abused before and it falls on deaf ears," she said.

Liverpool police eventually charged Lozina over the Westfield incident after Mrs Elasmar was assaulted.

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Lozina, who had schizophrenia diagnosed at 14, had well-documented delusions about Islam and reiterated his dislike in court.

His long criminal history details years of violence, mental health struggles and homelessness since 1997.

Stipe Lozina, 43, was sentenced to three years jail for bashing Mrs Elasmar in October, 2019.
Stipe Lozina, 43, was sentenced to three years jail for bashing Mrs Elasmar in October, 2019.

In material tendered in court, the 43-year-old said he had a strained relationship with his siblings because they had converted to Islam.

Mrs Elasmar was 38 weeks pregnant when she was assaulted. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Mrs Elasmar was 38 weeks pregnant when she was assaulted. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

Between 2006 and last year, he was charged more than a dozen times, including for common assault, and spent time behind bars.

In August last year, he randomly abused the mother and daughter at Westfield in Parramatta. The women went to Liverpool Police Station to report the incident.

After Mrs Elasmar's assault, one of the victims contacted Liverpool police again.

Mrs Elasmar was hospitalised with minor injuries after the attack, where Lozina punched her and stomped on her head.
Mrs Elasmar was hospitalised with minor injuries after the attack, where Lozina punched her and stomped on her head.

The Telegraph understands the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions knocked back a request from police to also charge Lozina with inciting racial violence.

The offence under 93Z of the Crimes Act was created in 2018 to make it a crime for anyone to publicly threaten or incite violence on grounds of race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

But, despite numerous referrals from police over the past two years, the DPP has rarely, if at all, signed off on any 93Z charges being laid.

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said police and the DPP were responsible for prosecution.

The offence attracts a maximum penalty of three years jail.

But, despite numerous referrals from NSW Police over the past two years, the DPP has rarely, if at all, signed off on any 93Z charge being laid, it is understood.

Lozina was sentenced for a maximum 16 months jail for the Westfield incident.

Originally published as Muslim mum attacker's violent history revealed

CCTV shows bystanders trying to stop Lozina assaulting Mrs Elasmar at the Bay Vista cafe.
CCTV shows bystanders trying to stop Lozina assaulting Mrs Elasmar at the Bay Vista cafe.

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