Outside Sydney Supreme Court for the trial of accused murderer Megan Jean Haines are (from left) Shannon Parkinson (granddaughter of suspected murder victim and St Andrew's aged care centre resident Marie Darragh) and Janet Parkinson and Charli Darragh (daughters).
Outside Sydney Supreme Court for the trial of accused murderer Megan Jean Haines are (from left) Shannon Parkinson (granddaughter of suspected murder victim and St Andrew's aged care centre resident Marie Darragh) and Janet Parkinson and Charli Darragh (daughters). Chris Calcino

Daughters break down in nursing home murder trial

SUSPECTED nursing home murder victim Marie Darragh's daughters have broken down in court as an account of her autopsy unfolded before the jury.

Accused double-murderer Megan Jean Haines sat in the Sydney Supreme Court dock as Lismore Hospital chief surgical dresser John Hall gave evidence via video link.

Mr Hall spoke about transporting Ms Darragh and Isabella Spencer's bodies from the aged care centre on May 10, 2014, to collect samples in the hospital's mortuary.

The description brought Ms Darragh's daughters Janet Parkinson and Charli Darragh to tears, and they removed themselves from the courtroom.

The jury was played a recording of an interview between Detective Senior Constable Andrew Fraser and St Andrew's resident Marjorie Patterson after she had been taken to hospital for observation on the day her fellow residents died of suspected insulin overdoses.

Ms Patterson had made a complaint against Ms Haines - as had Ms Darragh and Ms Spencer the day before their deaths.

In the recording, Ms Patterson spoke of the supervisor waking her up during the night her fellow residents died, but she could not recall her name.

"Some time last night, they worked out it was approximately 11 o'clock, the supervisor who was on night duty came in and woke me up by shining a torch in my face," she said.

"And she said, 'I've been told if you can't sleep I have to give you Panadol'."

The court has previously heard the supervisor in question was Ms Haines.

Ms Patterson also complained of the same supervisor "reefing" her off a chair and hurting her leg a few nights earlier.

When asked if it was normal to be woken up in the middle of the night, she said it had never happened before.

"It was just a funny thing for her to do, to come wake me up to tell me if I couldn't sleep she had to give me medication," Ms Patterson said in the interview.

A security guard tasked with performing two checks at St Andrew's on the night the women died told the court he could not remember anything out of the usual.

He said he kept a log book, and "everything I can see in the book stated 'all okay', so it was all okay".

The crime scene officer who inspected both women's rooms on the day of their death noted there were no signs of disturbance or ransacking.

Ms Darragh still had a gold necklace around her neck, a bracelet around her left wrist and rings on each of her index fingers, he said.

Another witness, whose name has been suppressed, recalled a conversation years earlier in which Ms Haines allegedly said she knew how to kill someone without being caught by injecting them with insulin.

The witness told the court he and Ms Haines had been watching a "CSI-type" show where the murder victim had been poisoned.

He said the comment did not raise any alarm bells at the time, and he assumed she was just showing off her medical knowledge.

Crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell's case is expected to wind up tomorrow, with defence barrister Troy Edwards's evidence to follow.

ARM NEWSDESK


LETTER: Call to close nude beach due to Queensland sex pests

LETTER: Call to close nude beach due to Queensland sex pests

Call to kill off clothing optional beach.

Truth about where you grew up

Truth about where you grew up

Research has revealed just how big an effect your suburb can have.

Extra demerits for using phones while driving

Extra demerits for using phones while driving

Drivers using phones illegally will get an extra demerit point.

Local Partners