Child abduction accused unfit for trial

23:45, Aug 27 2012
Skye Mason
IN COURT: Skye Mason is accused of abducting 17-month-old Alyssa Barker.

A woman accused of abducting a toddler will undergo treatment at a mental health facility until it can be determined whether she is fit to stand trial.

A solemn Skye Adele Mason appeared at the Waitakere District Court today where she was remanded in custody at the Mason Clinic in Point Chevalier, Auckland, for a second mental health assessment. 

The 27-year-old has been charged with the abduction of a person under 17, which carries a maximum seven-year jail term.  

Alyssa Barker
ALL SMILES: Alyssa Barker was reunited with her family after being allegedly abducted.

Mason allegedly abducted 17-month-old Alyssa Barker from her parents' home where she was staying in Kaukapakapa, north of Auckland, on July 27. 

The disappearance sparked a manhunt and Alyssa was returned to her family a day later after a woman with whom Mason sought refuge called police. 

Mason has also been charged with assaulting a police constable with intent to obstruct her duties on July 29.

When Mason first appeared in court, on July 31, she was remanded into custody so that a "screening report" could be commissioned to assess whether she was fit to stand trial. 

Today, Judge Lisa Tremewan said the report, filed on August 21, determined Mason's "unfitness" to stand trial and the "possibility of insanity is explored".  

Judge Tremewan ordered an updated report on Mason's treatment and mental fitness be completed by December 17 where a special hearing will take place to discuss it. 


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