7 February 2023

Fitness to plead question likely for woman charged with killing Matthew McLuckie

| Albert McKnight
Father and son

Matthew McLuckie with his father, Tom. Photo: Supplied, ACT Policing.

It is likely a fitness to plead question will be raised in the defence of the woman charged with killing Matthew McLuckie.

Shakira May Adams did not appear in the ACT Magistrates Court when the case against her was mentioned for the first time on Tuesday (7 February).

Her lawyer, Legal Aid’s Tamzin Lee, said the 20-year-old was in hospital and there was likely to be a question raised on her fitness to plead to her charges, which include manslaughter and culpable driving causing death.

Ms Lee also said it was likely she would ask the court to reserve that question and commit it to the Supreme Court for determination at a later date.

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Magistrate Louise Taylor adjourned to 7 March. Ms Adams’ lawyer requested that she appear in court over audio-visual link on the next occasion.

The Bruce woman, who was issued her charges via summons, also faces counts of aggravated reckless driving, unlicensed driving and driving a motor vehicle without consent.

Man in check short outside court

Tom McLuckie spoke to the media outside court on Tuesday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

Matthew’s father Tom McLuckie came to court in person. Afterwards, he spoke to media outside the courthouse, where he was asked why it was important to come.

“I think it’s important for us to be part of the process along the way to represent Matthew because he can’t represent himself now,” Tom said.

Matthew, 20, died after a two-vehicle collision on Hindmarsh Drive at around 11 pm on 19 May 2022 when he was heading home from work.

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Police allege Ms Adams had been driving a car on the wrong side of the road at a speed of no less than 177 km/h before they collided.

Matthew had suffered significant injuries and died a short time later in the Canberra Hospital.

Last December, police said Ms Adams had also suffered significant injuries and was still receiving extensive medical care.

“A third vehicle, believed to have also been travelling east in the westbound lanes of Hindmarsh Drive before the collision, has been recovered by police,” they said.

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