The motorist accused of mowing down pedestrians in Melbourne’s CBD days before Christmas has appeared in court behind security glass.
Saeed Noori, an Afghan refugee and Australian citizen with a history of drug and mental health problems, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday seated between two prison guards.
The 32-year-old is charged with 18 counts of attempted murder and one of conduct endangering life.
He looked down for most of the hearing.
Prosecutors asked for longer than usual to serve a brief of evidence on the defence, which will include CCTV footage.
Mr Noori’s lawyer Tass Antos said his client’s mental impairment and fitness to enter a plea will be considered in his case.
Mr Noori was remanded in custody until his committal mention on May 30.
Twenty people were hospitalised, including the alleged driver and the off-duty police officer who arrested him, after a white SUV ploughed through pedestrians crossing Flinders Street on December 21.
Magistrate John Hardy noted Mr Noori was withdrawing from drug addiction, that he may have psychiatric and other illnesses and was taking medication for people with mental health issues.
“It’s important that you continue to take your medications,” he said.
He ordered Mr Noori be seen by Forensicare – the Victorian Institute of
Forensic Mental Health – soon as possible.