Alleged kidnapper's mental health questioned

VICTORIA ROBINSON
Last updated 15:02 31/07/2012
Skye Mason
IN COURT: Skye Mason is accused of abducting 17-month-old Alyssa Barker.
Alyssa Barker
PETER MEECHAM/Stuff
ALL SMILES: Alyssa Barker was reunited with her family after being allegedly abducted.

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A woman accused of abducting a toddler will be held in prison for 14 days while she is assessed to see if she is mentally fit to stand trial.

Skye Adele Mason, 27, appeared in the Waitakere District Court again today after she was remanded in custody at a court appearance yesterday.

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

Mason allegedly abducted 17-month-old Alyssa Barker on Friday afternoon.

Judge Claire Ryan remanded Mason in custody until mid-August so a "screening report" could be commissioned to assess whether she is fit to stand trial.

In court earlier this morning Joanne Wickliffe, who works for the Public Defence Service, asked for Mason to be reassigned a new lawyer because she was unable to get instructions from her client.

Lawyer Paul Gruar represented Mason at her appearance this afternoon.

Alyssa went missing on Friday from her Kaukapakapa home, north of Auckland, where Mason had briefly been living.

The disappearance sparked a massive manhunt and Alyssa was returned to her family on Saturday night after a woman with whom Mason sought refuge called police.

Yesterday, Judge Claire Ryan declined applications to film proceedings saying she had received forensic psychiatric reports and Mason was "fragile".

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

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