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ABC News
ABC News
Melissa Mackay and Jacqueline Breen

Deborah Mason granted bail after allegedly helping son hide woman's body following Darwin hit-and-run

The alleged hit-and-run victim has been identified by family as 43-year-old Anmatyerre woman Kumanjayi Nungarrayai Dixon. (Supplied: Carol Dixon)

A woman accused of helping her son attempt to hide the body of a woman killed in an alleged hit and run near Darwin has been granted bail.

This article contains an image of an Aboriginal person who has died, used with the permission of their family.

Police said the body of a 43-year-old Indigenous woman was found partly concealed in bushland earlier this month, two days after a human leg was found on the side of the Stuart Highway, south of Darwin.

Family members have identified the alleged victim as an Anmatyerre woman who for cultural reasons is being referred to as Kumanjayi Nungarrayai Dixon.

Deborah Mason, 50, is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice, destroying evidence and misconduct with regards to a corpse.

Ms Dixon's body was discovered in bushland on Jenkins Road in Virginia on the outskirts of Darwin. (ABC News: Djamal Cook)

Her son, 23-year-old Joshua Mason, faces charges of hit and run, destroying evidence, misconduct with regards to a corpse and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Ms Mason's lawyer told the Darwin Local Court on Tuesday that her client will likely plead guilty once the matter reaches the NT Supreme Court.

A bail assessment report found Ms Mason suitable for bail but prosecutors argued that would require her to live with her daughter, who is a witness in the case.

But Ms Mason's lawyer, Thelma Gray, said witness statements had already been made to police and because her client intended to plead guilty, it was unlikely the daughter would be called to give evidence.

Thelma Gray is representing Deborah Mason. (ABC News: Tristan Hooft)

Judge Therese Austin said the decision to grant Ms Mason bail was difficult given the accused had never been in custody or before the courts.

But she said while Ms Mason was not involved in the alleged crash, "the allegation is that her, along with her son, interfered with the body".

"[It's alleged] once they ascertained he had indeed hit a person on the evening of the 30th of May, that her and her son moved the deceased from the median strip or the roadway, put the deceased in the back of a vehicle and did not call the police," she said.

She said it's alleged the pair put Kumanjayi Dixon's body in bushland not knowing her leg had been severed in the crash.

Ms Mason was granted bail on conditions including the surrender of her passport. (ABC News: Hamish Harty)

The court heard Ms Mason "seemingly" went about her business the next day and did not contact police when her daughter alerted her to the fact a leg had been found on the Stuart Highway.

Ms Mason was granted bail on conditions including the surrender of her passport and that she puts up $10,000 or her house as a surety.

Victim's family grieving, angered by mother-of-three's death

Speaking from New South Wales on Tuesday, Ms Dixon's sister Carol said her family was struggling to come to terms with her sister's death and the alleged handling of her body afterwards.

An investigation was sparked when passing motorists saw a human leg beside the Stuart Highway at Coolalinga. (ABC News: Myles Houlbrook-Walk)

Ms Dixon described her sister as a bubbly, witty and much-loved mother of three girls and grandmother to more children.

She said the family was waiting to hear more information about the circumstances of Kumanjayi Dixon's death.

More than 10 pedestrians have been killed on NT roads in the past 18 months and all victims were Indigenous.

Ms Dixon told the ABC she was concerned to learn about the high rate of pedestrian fatalities in the NT after her sister's death.

"I think, just seeing other families and what they're going through and how they're grieving touches my heart, because I just think it's a horrific and horrible way for someone to pass."

The matter returns to court in July.

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