24 September 2023

Steve Fabriczy charged with murder of Irma Palasics, remanded in custody

| Albert McKnight

Steve Fabriczy (right) arrives at the City Police Station to be charged over the murder of Irma Palasics. Photos: Supplied, ACT Policing.

The man arrested in the long-running investigation of 73-year-old Irma Palasics’ death has been formally charged with her murder and remanded in custody.

It was a major breakthrough when Steve Fabriczy, a 68-year-old from Rowville in Melbourne, was arrested earlier this week before being extradited to the ACT.

He appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday (22 September) where he was formally charged with murdering Ms Palasics on 6 November, 1999.

Duty lawyer Nathan Deakes said no plea would be entered at this stage and he would not apply for bail.

He asked for an adjournment so Fabriczy could make an application to Legal Aid.

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Prosecutor Caitlin Diggins said she would be seeking for a forensic procedure to be made and also asked for an adjournment to make that application.

Special Magistrate Sean Richter remanded Fabriczy in custody, adjourned until 5 October to discuss the forensic procedure and ordered he be brought to court in person at that time.

Details of the home invasion in which Ms Palasics died were revealed in the Dandenong Magistrates Court on Thursday.

The court heard that on 6 November, 1999, two masked intruders had forced their way into the McKellar home Ms Palasics shared with her partner Gregor Palasics.

The elderly couple was violently assaulted by the men, who demanded the location of money and valuables hidden in the house.

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When the couple was not forthcoming, they were bound with cable ties, duct tape and a telephone cord, and their house was ransacked.

Steve Fabriczy, 68, was arrested in Rowanville, Melbourne, on Wednesday morning. Photo: ACT Policing.

Mr Palasics, who had been in and out of consciousness, was able to free himself after about an hour and found his wife in the hallway, still with bindings over her hands, ankles and mouth.

He removed the bindings, but she died.

The court heard Ms Palasics had suffered a broken nose, and as the bindings were over her mouth, she couldn’t expel the blood, so in effect she “drowned in her own blood”.

It is alleged Fabriczy was linked to the home invasion via DNA and admitted that he had been on the premises for a burglary.

Police said the second alleged offender was yet to be identified.

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