Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

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Lawyers for a woman accused of having jailed a Canberra prisoner want her psychiatric assessment as they investigate the possibility of a mental disability defense. Lila Rose Mary Walto faces a series of charges after allegedly hitting an ACT Corrective Services car in July to free Kane Quinn when the convicted prisoner was driven to Canberra Hospital for a doctor. Video of the incident, which stretched across a series of suburbs in the inner south of Canberra, shows an allegedly stolen Jeep Wrangler repeatedly smashing into the Toyota Camry with Quinn. This is said to have allowed Quinn to flee and flee with Mrs Walto, who was allegedly behind the wheel of the Jeep. The couple, both 28 at the time, were arrested in a house in Lyneham within hours. Quinn has subsequently pleaded not guilty to a charge of escaping lawful custody. Walto joined him behind bars in the wake of the incident and had refused to apply for bail. She faces 21 charges, which include rescuing a person from lawful custody by force, having an escapee and interfering in a car in hazardous circumstances. Shortly after Walto’s arrest, her lawyer, Carley Hitchins, indicated that the woman was likely to plead guilty to some charges. MORE JUSTICE AND CRIME NEWS: But when the case returned to ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday, Hitchins said she had subsequently discussed the case with attorney John Purnell SC. “We are now of the view that Mrs Walto should be assessed psychiatrically … before any plea is lodged,” Hitchins told the court, marking a possible defense of mental impairment. Judge Beth Campbell therefore adjourned the case until January 10 next year, when it will be heard again. Mrs Walto, who appeared in court over the phone from the Alexander Maconochie Center, was remanded in custody until that day. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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