Canning Vale death: surprises in court over push for May trial, bail

Aya Hishmeh is accused of murder after the 2017 death of teenager Jacob Cummins in Canning Vale. Picture: Facebook
Aya Hishmeh is accused of murder after the 2017 death of teenager Jacob Cummins in Canning Vale. Picture: Facebook

ACCUSED murderer Aya Hishmeh will make a surprise bid for bail after nearly 15 months behind bars if the date for her trial can’t be brought forward to May.

Ms Hishmeh, who has been in prison since December 2017 over the death of teenager Jacob Cummins in Canning Vale, is due to face trial in November but her chosen defence lawyer Anthony Elliott is not available until early 2020.

Jacob Cummins

In Stirling Gardens Magistrate Court this morning, Mr Elliott suggested two potential twists that would allow him to continue to act for Ms Hishmeh, which he stressed was her strong preference.

The first was a request that Justice Michael Corboy order a suitability for home detention report, which upon further court consideration could lead to a bail application.

Prosecutors would oppose any home detention scenario, the court heard.

The second was to consider fast-tracking Ms Hishmeh’s trial to May, in which case he would make himself available for the expected four-week trial.

Fears Aya Hishmeh could spend another Christmas behind bars before trial

Eucalyptus Boulevard in Canning Vale, where Ms Hishbeh is alleged to have driven into Jacob Cummins and four other teengers. Picture: Jon Hewson

Justice Corboy said the short timeframe was a big ask but agreed that court officials and prosecutors should quickly look at the option and provide an update next Friday.

“I should warn that there are a lot of difficulties, not the least of which is the ability of the court to find an available judge, availability of witnesses and other matters,” he said.

“But let’s see where we are on the 8th of March.”

Previously, prosecutors also said that a separate District Court case involving many of the same civilian witnesses, and set down for August, needed to be completed before Ms Hishmeh’s trial.

Justice Corboy said he would not order the home detention report until it was known whether or not Ms Hishmeh’s case could go to trial in May.

“If on the 8th of March the trial is a long way away then I’ll make the order report,” he said.

Ms Hishmeh is accused of 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.

She has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and four counts of attempted murder.