Naden case approaches climax
Seven years on the run ... Malcolm Naden shortly after his arrest in 2012. Photo: Supplied
A year to the day after he was captured by police, the case of Malcolm Naden may finally come to an end, with a court being told he is mentally fit to enter a plea.
Mr Naden, 39, who spent almost seven years on the run from police before being captured in 2012, was due to face a fitness hearing on March 26 to determine whether he was mentally well enough to stand trial on murder charges.
But in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Mr Naden's defence barrister Mark Ierace, SC, said fitness was no longer an issue.
"There was, but there isn't now," Mr Ierace told Justice Derek Price.
Justice Price listed the matter for arraignment next Friday - exactly a year after Mr Naden was captured by police in rugged bushland west of Gloucester - when he may enter a plea.
The court heard that the matter could be listed for sentencing as early as April, after a report from a forensic psychiatrist is completed.
Mr Naden is accused of strangling Kristy Scholes in a bedroom of his grandparents' home in Dubbo in June 2005 and the suspected murder of his cousin Lateesha Nolan, who has not been found since she who was reported missing from Dubbo in January 2005.
Mr Naden disappeared in June 2005 and was captured by police in a bush camp last year.
He is also charged with the attempted murder of a policeman who tried to capture him, and several break and enter, stealing and assault charges.