Court told highway murder accused was 'off medication'
By Sam McKeith
A MENTALLY ill Lismore woman charged with murder was off her medication at the time of the alleged offence, a court has been told.
Vanessa Fraser, 48, is accused of murdering Tweeds Heads man Trevor Moran in a crash at Cudgera Creek on the Pacific Highway on January 6, 2017.
Police allege Fraser intentionally allowed her white Ford Falcon to collide with Mr Moran's motorcycle.
Mr Moran, a 61-year-old father of three died at the scene. Ms Fraser was uninjured.
At a NSW Supreme Court bail hearing on Wednesday, Ms Fraser's legal representative said a major issue at his client's murder trial, due to start later this year, would be mental illness.
He told the court that two separate reports from forensic psychiatrists, made while Ms Fraser was in custody, were largely in agreement about her mental state at the time of the fatal incident.
"(The) ultimate conclusion is a finding of not guilty by mental illness is open to her," he said.
The court heard that Ms Fraser, who had "longstanding mental health issues" stopped taking her medication before the collision for "vanity" reasons because she believed it was making her put on weight.
Ms Fraser had a history of psychotic episodes and "manias" going back to 2012 and had on several occasions "taken flight" across the border to Queensland, the court was told.
It heard that there had been a "great deal of improvement" in Ms Fraser's condition since being in custody, but also that risks would remain if she were granted bail and released into the community.
In arguing against bail, the Crown said there was no way to ensure Ms Fraser's current medicine regime of a monthly injection and daily oral tablets would continue outside custody.
The Crown also said Ms Fraser's proposed place of residence if granted bail, located 30 minutes from both Lismore and Ballina, was inappropriate.
Ms Fraser, who appeared via video link wearing prison greens, displayed little emotion throughout the hearing.
Acting Justice Peter Hidden reserved judgment in the matter until Thursday, when Ms Fraser was refused bail.