Questions raised about alleged killer’s health

Anas Abdulfatah, 26, was charged with murder after allegedly fatally beating a man at Fitzroy Gardens. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw

Lawyers acting for a man accused of beating a father to death at a popular park are exploring a possible “mental impairment” defence, a court has been told.

Anas Abdulfatah, of no fixed address, was charged with murder after a 52-year-old man was allegedly fatally assaulted at Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens on August 21 last year.

Emergency services were called to the park about 6.50am after reports of a physical altercation between two men.

Mr Abdulfatah, 33, was allegedly arrested at the scene and initially taken to hospital under police guard before detectives laid the charge later the same evening.

Police remove a body from the scene. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw

Scheduled to appear in court the following day, a lawyer for Mr Abdulfatah said her client was “too unwell” to appear.

At the time the court was told Mr Abdulfatah required medication for schizoaffective and bipolar conditions.

The case returned before the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday as lawyer Gabrielle Nota said her client again would not appear in court.

“He’s currently at Thomas Embling (hospital) undergoing a procedure at this current moment and won’t be appearing,” she told the court.

Forensic officers were seen examining a water fountain at the park. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw

The court was told his defence had requested the case be adjourned for several months while a psychological report was obtained to “explore a defence of mental impairment”.
Mental impairment can be raised as a defence in criminal cases, however it usually falls on the defence to prove the accused was mentally impaired at the time the alleged crime was committed.

The adjournment was approved by Magistrate Kieran Gilligan who remanded Mr Abdulfatah until May.