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

Aaron Bunch
Bail granted after leg found on NT highway

A mother who allegedly helped her son bury a dead pedestrian in bushland after he fatally struck the woman with his car near Darwin has been granted bail.

June 14, 2022

A mother accused of helping her son bury a dead Indigenous pedestrian in bushland near Darwin after he fatally struck the woman with his car has been granted bail.

The discovery of the Aboriginal woman’s dismembered leg on the Northern Territory’s Stuart Highway triggered a massive police investigation leading to the pair’s arrest.

Deborah Karen Mason, 50, allegedly helped Joshua Gary Mason, 23, collect, move and conceal the woman’s body in bushland 15km south of the collision site on May 30.

Joshua Mason had allegedly hit the woman with a car on the busy roadway in Darwin’s outskirts in the hours before, about 8.30pm.

A traveller spotted part of the woman’s leg on the highway the next day in the rural suburb of Coolalinga, 30km south of the city centre.

Her body was later found partially buried in scrub in Bees Creek on June 1 after the Masons were arrested earlier in the day.

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

Mother-of-three Deborah Mason was granted bail in the NT Local Court in Darwin 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 buried it.

Police found blood stains in the back of the ute despite Deborah Mason’s alleged attempts to hose it out.

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.

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

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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