The man accused of stealing a car with a baby inside again refuses to take part in court hearing

Mr Robertson’s lawyer, Iresha Siriwardana, said she had been unable to speak to the accused man, which prompted a shocked response from the magistrate. “What?” Ms Falla said.

Ms Siriwardana said Mr Robertson was “quite unwell” and that when he was handed a phone on Wednesday, he hung up and called triple zero. Custody officers wouldn’t give him a phone on Thursday, but he had undergone a PCR test and was waiting on the result.

The defense lawyer said Mr Robertson needed to be assessed by a psychiatric nurse. She said it would be best for him to be bailed to a mental health treatment facility, but she was unable to lodge an application until she had spoken with him.

The magistrate remanded Mr Robertson in custody until May 24 but said he could apply for bail before then.

His case could return to court next week if prosecutors apply for him to undergo a compulsory procedure, where investigating police can take a mouth swab to assist in gathering forensic evidence.

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