Lauren Dickason with husband Graham at the second birthday of their twins Maya and Karla with their older sister Liane. Picture: Facebook
Lauren Dickason with husband Graham at the second birthday of their twins Maya and Karla with their older sister Liane. Picture: Facebook

Mother will plead not guilty

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Oct 16, 2021

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The South African doctor accused of murdering her three young daughters in Timaru, New Zealand, last month intends to plead not guilty.

Lauren Anne Dickason, 40, is accused of the murder of twins Maya and Karla, 2, and their older sister Liane, 6, on the night of September 16, about a week after the family moved into a property in Queen St, Timaru. She and husband Graham, an orthopaedic surgeon from Pretoria, had just emigrated to New Zealand.

Because Dickason, who is being held at Hillmorton Hospital in Christchurch, was unwell yesterday, her appearance in the Christchurch High Court by video-link was excused.

Defence counsel Kerryn Beaton indicated that Dickason intended to plead not guilty.

Justice Cameron Mander told Beaton that because Dickason was not appearing, the defendant would need to sign a written notice so counsel could enter the not guilty pleas. That was expected to have been completed yesterday.

The court was told yesterday that the defence and Crown (State) were arranging independent psychiatric reports. Dickason has been at the high-security hospital facility for mental evaluation since the incident. She last appeared in court in Timaru on September 18 for a psychiatric assessment.

The trial was scheduled for March 2023, and Dickason was remanded for a case review hearing on December 17. In the meantime, she will be detained in Hillmorton Hospital’s forensic unit.

The court also continued its suppression order banning publication of the details of the case.

The Independent on Saturday

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