20 February 2024

Psychiatrist hasn't been able to speak to woman accused of killing Matthew McLuckie

| Albert McKnight

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

A forensic psychiatrist has not been able to reach the woman accused of killing Matthew McLuckie, despite multiple attempts, which he has tried to do as part of her fitness to plead application.

It is alleged that Shakira May Adams had drugs in her system when she drove a stolen Volkswagen on the wrong side of the road at almost 180 km/h before crashing into the 20-year-old’s car on 19 May 2022. He died the next day.

She was charged with manslaughter and a question was raised on whether or not she was fit to plead.

Police have said she suffered significant injuries and needed extensive medical care after the crash.

In June, the ACT Supreme Court heard a report on this issue was “somewhat equivocal”, and its author, Dr Anthony Barker, didn’t express a definitive view that she was not fit to plead.

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The prosecution sought its own expert on that question, and on Thursday (21 September), Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Williamson SC told the court it had engaged Professor David Greenberg, who had done everything he could except speak to Ms Adams.

Mr Williamson said the professor had made multiple attempts to get a hold of her through her lawyers and carers, but his efforts “have been in vain”.

He proposed that if she did not consult with Professor Greenberg, his report should be finalised without the benefit of talking with her.

However, the prosecutor said that might have adverse implications for Ms Adams, depending on what he found.

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Registrar Jayne Reece said it seemed to be in her favour to make herself available to speak to Professor Greenberg and adjourned until October to see if any progress had been made.

The court has previously heard that Ms Adams, who is aged in her early 20s and is from Bruce, has been an inpatient at the Canberra Hospital.

She has been charged with manslaughter, culpable driving causing death, aggravated reckless driving, unlicensed driving and driving a motor vehicle without consent.

She was committed for trial earlier this year.

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