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Bibbulmun Track Attempted Murder Charge Withdrawn

A man accused of attempted murder over an attack on two Finnish nationals at the Bibbulmun Track has instead pleaded guilty to a downgraded offence.

Matt Lewis Whittaker, 36, was initially charged with attempt to kill after he ran down a 33-year-old man with his ute, as the victim walked along the track with a female tourist on July 28.

This charge was downgraded to the lesser charge of two counts of intending to do an act that endangered the life or safety of a person.

Police said at the time that Whittaker got out of the vehicle and hit the man with a shovel, knocking him to the ground and inflicting a serious head wound.

The man managed to stand up, but they continued to struggle until the woman picked up the shovel and struck Whittaker.

A passer-by stopped to help and they restrained Whittaker until police arrived.

The couple, who were visiting and working in Australia, did not know Whittaker.

He faced Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court via video link from Hakea prison on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to two counts of intending to do an act that endangered the life or safety of a person.

The case was referred to the WA District Court for a mention on April 26, and pre-sentence and psychological reports were ordered.

Whittaker also faces drugs and weapon charges, with his next appearance in Midland Magistrates Court scheduled for March 22.

AAP

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