Theft charges against woman brain-damaged after stepping on rollercoaster track to get phone withdrawn

  • 12/01/2023
No explanation was given for withdrawing the charges.
No explanation was given for withdrawing the charges. Photo credit: Facebook / 7News.

Theft charges filed against an Australian woman bedridden after being hit by a rollercoaster in Melbourne last year have been withdrawn.

It's been revealed that police had alleged Shylah Rodden, 26, stole a Samsung S20 mobile phone in August 2021 while on bail for another offence. However, in court on Wednesday, police withdrew the charges without any explanation.

Rodden didn't appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court for the hearing as she remains hospitalised and unable to communicate after being hit by a rollercoaster in September last year at the Melbourne Royal Show.

The woman was flung into the air by a fast-moving carriage after walking onto the track to retrieve her phone

Her father has reported she was brain-damaged and severely injured in the accident. While she cannot talk currently, her condition is classed as stable.

According to the Daily Mail, Rodden's lawyers attempted to get Magistrate Fran Medina to deny media access to the charge sheets, but Medina declined.

The media outlet said that while no explanation has been given by police for withdrawing the charges, it understands she may have been wrongly identified as the thief.

The Melbourne Royal Show chief executive Brad Jenkins said it was a "tragic accident". 

"From our understanding, there was a mobile phone at the base of the Rebel Coaster that she dropped on the ride and she went back to recover the mobile phone," he said.

"Regrettably, she was tragically struck by the cart coming down.

"It is an extreme rollercoaster which is a lot of fun generally, but this was a tragic accident that shouldn't have happened."