Man charged with attacking tourists on Bibbulman Track angling for plea deal

Man charged with attacking tourists on Bibbulman Track angling for plea deal

A MAN who allegedly attacked two tourists at the popular Bibbulman Track hiking trail is in talks with prosecutors in a bid to have his attempted murder charge downgraded.

Matt Lewis Whittaker, 36, allegedly ran down the 33-year-old male victim from Finland with his ute, which was fitted with stolen number plates, as he walked along the Bibbulmun Track on Perth’s outskirts, on a Saturday afternoon in July.

Police say Whittaker then got out of the vehicle and hit the man with a shovel, knocking him to the ground and inflicting a serious head wound.

He then allegedly turned on the victim’s female companion, also 33.

The man managed to stand up and struggled with Whittaker, but he continued to attack the man until the woman picked up the shovel and struck him with it, police say.

A passer-by stopped to help and the three of them held Whittaker down until police arrived.

All three were taken to hospital.

The couple were visiting and working in Australia and did not know Whittaker.

He faced Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court via video link from Hakea prison on Wednesday when his lawyer John Rando said negotiations with the Director of Public Prosecutions were ongoing.

The matter was adjourned until January 30 and Mr Rando said he would take further instructions from his client in the meantime.

Outside court, the lawyer said he was optimistic of striking a plea deal.

“It’s a strange case,” Mr Rando told AAP.

Whittaker is also charged with two counts of intending to do an act that endangered the life or safety of a person.

He is further charged with possessing methylamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, stolen property and unlicensed firearms or ammunition, and is due to face Midland Magistrates Court for those matters on January 31.