Brain injury again prevents Capel highway accused fronting court

Shaun Southern is charged with the murder of Jenni Pratt. Photo from Facebook.
Shaun Southern is charged with the murder of Jenni Pratt. Photo from Facebook.

The driver accused of going on a deadly rampage down Bussell Highway in Capel in February has again been unable to attend a court hearing due to a brain injury he suffered in the incident. 

Shaun Southern was scheduled to appear in Stirling Magistrates Court on Wednesday but a letter from a social worker at Fiona Stanley Hospital was read out in his absence - confirming he remained in the hospital's acquired brain injury unit as an in-patient. 

He has been at the hospital since March 20.

The Magistrate ordered a fitness to plea report be arranged for Mr Southern while his lawyer Kathryn Heslop indicated she had spoken with her client. 

Mother-of-two Jenni Pratt, 61, of Geographe, died at the scene and her passenger, a 54-year-old woman from Busselton, was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Mr Southern is charged with murder, acts or omission causing bodily harm or death and reckless driving in relation to the February 18 incident. 

​The father-of-two, from the Bunbury suburb of Usher, was charged during a bedside hearing as he recovered from serious injuries from the crash in hospital.

Police will allege Mr Southern drove onto the wrong side of the highway on a Saturday afternoon, forcing dozens of oncoming motorists to swerve or drive their vehicles at high speed into roadside ditches to avoid a collision. 

Ms Pratt was returning from an outing with a friend when her RAV4 was hit head-on by the 4WD Mr Southern was driving. She died at the scene. 

The matter was adjourned until June 28.