Driver accused of fatal Bussell Highway crash had drugs in system, court told

Posted

November 13, 2017 16:04:16

A man accused of murdering a woman by deliberately driving into her car near Capel had signs of drugs in his system, WA’s Supreme Court has heard.

Shaun Southern, 45, is alleged to have deliberately driven on the wrong side of Bussell Highway in February and crashed into another car killing 61-year-old Jenni Pratt, and seriously injuring her passenger.

Prosecutor Justin Whalley said it would be alleged at trial that at the time of the crash Mr Southern had an intent to kill or cause a life-endangering injury.

The court heard tests conducted afterwards showed Mr Southern was “not significantly intoxicated” and while they were negative for alcohol, there were signs of morphine, methylamphetamine and amphetamine in his system.

Mr Southern’s lawyer, Kathryn Heslop, said the defence would be calling three “expert witnesses” to testify at the trial.

She also signalled that Mr Southern may apply for his trial to be heard by a judge alone, sitting without a jury.

Mr Southern, who was also injured in the crash, has pleaded not guilty to charges.

There had been concerns that Mr Southern may never stand trial because of the injuries he suffered in the crash.

But during a court appearance in September it was revealed he had been found medically fit to stand trial and would have the capacity to follow the court proceedings.

Mr Southern appeared in court today via video link from Casuarina prison and was remanded in custody until he appears in court again next month.

Topics:

courts-and-trials,

murder-and-manslaughter,

road,

capel-6271,

perth-6000



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