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Outback Wrangler Matt Wright to stand trial over chopper crash that killed Chris Wilson

December 7, 2023 4:13 pm in by

Netflix star Matt Wright will face the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory next month in relation to the chopper crash that killed Chris ‘Willow’ Wilson.

Upon arriving at Darwin Local Court this morning Mr Wright, supported by his wife Kaia, were confronted by dozens of journalists and camera crews from across the country.

Mr Wright’s lawyer Greg Jones withdrew an application to cross examine witnesses and his client was committed to stand trial on one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

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Deputy Chief Judge Tanya Fong Lim told the court she was satisfied there was sufficient evidence for a trial and listed the matter for January 18.

Mr Wright’s other six charges including intimidating chopper pilot Sebastian Robinson and destroying evidence were adjourned until June 18 in the Local Court.

Co-accused, Remote Helicopters Australia owner Michael Burbidge also fronted court and pleaded guilty to destroying a mobile phone following the fatal crash, preventing it from being used as evidence.

His other three charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice, fabricating evidence and making a false declaration were dropped.

In doing so, Prosecutor Steve Ledek asked for the agreed facts around the case to be suppressed from publication over fears it could jeopardise Mr Wright’s trial, which was granted by the Judge.

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Mr Burbidge is expected to be sentenced on February 29 to allow time for documents including victim impact statements to be obtained.

Former NT police officer Neil Mellon was the third to appear in court and also admitted to destroying a mobile phone which could have served as evidence.

His two other charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice and making a false declaration were withdrawn, with details of his offending also suppressed.

Mr Mellon is also facing a raft of other unrelated charges including possessing a protected animal, possessing a prohibited weapon and obtaining a benefit by deception, which the court heard are close to being finalised.

He is due to return to court on March 1st and could be sentenced on all charges. 

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