21.4 C
Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

Ballina nurse guilty of murdering patients

Latest News

BB FC women close in on points championship

Ross Kendall The Byron Bay FC premier league women’s team have maintained their dominant position on the ladder after a...

Other News

Pennings and Adani to continue court battle

The Supreme Court has formalised orders agreed out of court by both Adani and Ben Pennings in relation to a decision handed down on 25 June 2021.

Storylines: Growing hope

Hope is a fragile thing in 2021. With the current pandemic and the uncertainty in so many aspects of life, our hope is being shadowed by fear. It is profoundly affecting our humanity.

Bruns North Arm

Jillian Spring, BillinudgelRegarding your article ‘A positive change to bring back the Bruns’, (Echo, 14 July). Since 2013/14 submissions to Council,...

Climate change duty of care campaigners risk jail

Environmental activists say a 48-year-old Lismore nurse will face court on Wednesday in Canberra over protest stunts at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association's headquarters.

The Block mute over its plans for Byron TV show

Plans by reality television TV show, The Block (Nine), to base an upcoming series on  Sunrise Boulevard in Sunrise, Byron Bay, has upset an elderly neighbour.

Will Tweed Council remove final option for RLSC in Tweed Shire?

At its upcoming Council meeting, the Tweed Shire Council is seeking to remove the option of Rural Land Sharing Communities, which includes multiple occupancies and community title.

Ex-nurse Megan Haines has been found guilty of killing two patients at a retirement village in Ballina two years ago. (file pic)
Ex-nurse Megan Haines has been found guilty of killing two patients at a retirement village in Ballina two years ago. (file pic)

Two-and-a-half-years after killing two elderly women in their retirement village beds by injecting them with insulin, ex-nurse Megan Haines has been found guilty of their murder.

It took four hours on Thursday for a NSW Supreme Court jury to return the verdict that Haines killed Marie Darragh, 82, and Isabella Spencer, 77, by administering insulin to them in the middle of the night in May 2014 in Ballina.

Haines pleaded not guilty, and under cross-examination on Monday she said she “did not inject anyone” at Ballina’s St Andrews Village.

The court heard Ms Spencer had complained that Haines had refused to help her reach the toilet, while Ms Darragh said the nurse refused to give her a cream to soothe an itch.

Haines’ registration had already been conditional following a previous suspension, crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell previously told the court, and further complaints were potentially catastrophic.

‘So what did the accused do? In my submission she tried to eliminate the cause,’ he said.

A former boyfriend also testified that in 2009 while watching a crime show Haines said an insulin injection was a way to kill someone without being detected.

But her defence lawyer Troy Edwards had argued Haines was not the only one with access to the insulin and if she had been motivated to kill over complaints, why would she have not murdered the third woman who also complained about her.

‘You have no explanation, I suggest, as to why the accused did not kill Marjorie Patterson,’ Mr Edwards told the jury.

‘I suggest to you, you would be far from satisfied that the accused was the only person with access to insulin.’

Haines appeared unemotional as the guilty verdict was read out.

‘Today’s guilty verdict in the murder of two of our former residents is an important step in the healing process for our victims’ families,’ St Andrews chief executive Phillip Carter said outside court.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the Darragh and Spencer families who have had to endure pain and grief of losing loved ones in distressing circumstances and the subsequent burden of a trial,’ he said.

Justice Peter Garling adjourned the matter to allow psychological assessment of Haines before sentencing on December 7.

Justice Garling also ordered a video link be made available during sentencing to allow the family of the victims to watch the proceedings from Lismore.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Westerly winds challenge Tweed Valley sailors

Matt Andrews The experience of John Haywood and the other crew members of Capers triumphed in the winter westerlies and run out tide that greeted...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 4 August, 2021

It's time to get out and see our wonderful performers whilst you can.

Interview with Ross Wilson, composer and Daddy Cool frontman

When the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Michael Gudinski and Sir Elton John call out a song as ‘one of the great Australian rock ‘n’ roll songs’, ‘one of the greatest songs of all time’, and ‘one of my favourite tracks’, then you know it was and still is, a hit.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: A Sobering Tale

Like most people I know alcoholism is in my genes. My father was an alcoholic. He drove drunk into another car, killed himself and an innocent man. He was 30. I’m 53.