Canning Vale death: Aya Hishmeh murder trial could be delayed until next year

Police markings on Eucalyptus Boulevard, where teenager Jacob Cummins died.
Police markings on Eucalyptus Boulevard, where teenager Jacob Cummins died.

THE young woman charged with murder over the 2017 death of teenager Jacob Cummins in Canning Vale is facing the prospect of spending a third Christmas in jail before her trial commences.

Aya Hishmeh, who has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and four counts of attempted murder, may not stand trial until January next year due to the timing of a related court case and the availability of her own lawyer.

The now-21-year-old has been in custody at Bandyup Prison since her arrest in December 2017.

Police allege Ms Hishmeh was driving the car that struck Jacob (17) and fellow teenagers Anwre Ige, Robert Bell, Augustine Janga and Mark Kickett as they walked along Eucalyptus Boulevard on December 7, 2017.

During her first videolink appearance before the WA Supreme Court on Monday morning, Justice Michael Corboy said he was very unhappy Ms Hishmeh could be behind bars for 25 months awaiting trial.

“Both of you understand my concern for the amount of time Ms Hishmeh has spent in custody,” he told lawyers for the defence and the prosecution.

Ms Hishmeh pleaded not guilty to all five charges last November.

A four-week trial has been listed to go ahead this November. Ms Hishmeh’s lawyer Anthony Elliott requested on Monday that January 20, 2020 also be penciled in as an alternative start date.

State prosecutor Kim Jennings said she understood a separate District Court case involving many of the same civilian witnesses, and set down for August, needed to be completed first.

Mr Elliot’s 2019 schedule, along with the unavailability of Jacob’s mother and an expert witness in October, were further reasons outlined for the length of the delay.

Justice Corboy ordered the lawyers reconvene with the court on February 28 for a further status conference and to consider earlier dates for the trial.