Aaron Bunch Journalist with Australian Associated Press | Collection of published work | + 61 484 008 119 | abunch@aap.com.au

Aaron Bunch
NT highway body allegedly moved twice

A young man accused of killing an Indigenous pedestrian with his car near Darwin allegedly moved her body after his mother helped him dump the woman in scrub.

June 14, 2022

A young man accused of killing an Indigenous pedestrian with his car allegedly moved her body twice after running her down near Darwin.

Joshua Gary Mason, 23, allegedly called his mother, Deborah Karen Mason, 50, to help dispose of the Aboriginal woman’s body.

But the pair left the dead woman’s dismembered leg on the Northern Territory’s Stuart Highway, triggering a massive police investigation.

Joshua Mason allegedly hit the woman with a car on the busy roadway in Darwin’s outskirts about 8.30pm on May 30.

Deborah Mason then allegedly helped collect, move and conceal the woman’s body in bushland 15km south of the collision site.

Her body was later found partially buried in scrub in Bees Creek on June 1 after the pair were arrested and Deborah Mason took detectives to the grave.

But the dead woman wasn’t in the spot Deborah Mason and her son had initially dumped it, prosecutor Tami Grealy told the NT Local Court in Darwin on Tuesday.

“She has indeed taken police to the area where they left the body only to find, perhaps to her surprise, it’s not clear, but to find the body had been moved a second time, at least by the co-offender,” she said.

The pair face a slew of charges, including misconduct with a corpse, destroying evidence and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Ms Grealy said the destruction of evidence charge Deborah Mason is facing stems from the mother of three’s alleged attempt to clean the woman’s blood from the back of a ute used to move the body using water and her son’s t-shirt.

Deborah Mason was granted bail on Tuesday with strict conditions.

These include wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet, a curfew and reporting to police three times per week.

The former Woolworths worker also has to supply a $10,000 bond or have a caveat placed over her home before she can be released from custody.

Her bail application previously heard Joshua Mason called his mother after the collision and she allegedly went to the scene to help him.

The pair looked for the dead woman in the darkness with a member of the public who had stopped to help, but failed to find her body.

The Masons left the site empty-handed before returning later in the night when they again searched and allegedly found the dead woman.

The pair then put the woman’s body in the back of a ute and drove into bushland where they allegedly dumped it.

Police have not released details of the victim’s identity or her age. A forensic pathologist who examined the partial leg determined the woman was either a teenager or an adult.

A traveller driving on the four-lane highway linking Darwin to Alice Springs and Adelaide spotted the limb. Police later spotted Joshua Mason in his damaged car.

Defence lawyer Peter Maley previously said Deborah and Joshua Mason would likely plead guilty to the charges.

The maximum penalty for misconduct with a corpse in the NT is two years imprisonment. Destroying evidence and attempting to pervert the course of justice carry three and 15-year terms respectively.

The pair are scheduled to reappear in Darwin Local Court on July 27. Joshua Mason has not applied for bail and remains in custody.

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