The South African mother who is currently on trial for murdering her three daughters at their home in New Zealand has been allocated another 18 months by the court to assess her mental state.
40-year old Lauren Dickason was arrested in early August after her husband discovered the bodies of their two-year-old twin girls, Maya and Karla, and their six-year-old sister Liane at their house in Timaru.
Dickason was set to make her first court appearance on October 5, but the court heard that more time was needed for her assessment, however, she was exempt from this court appearance. She was also hospitalised after the incident took place and had made a brief appearance in court on September 18 for a psychiatric assessment.
A brief hearing was held in Christchurch before Justice Cameron Mander on Friday, October 15, where Defence lawyer Kerryn Beaton QC indicated to the court that Dickason would be entering pleas of not guilty to all three charges. However, because Dickason was not present at court she would now need to sign a written notice confirming this so that counsel can enter the not guilty pleas on her behalf, Stuff reports.
According to The South African, the trial will now resume in March 2023 to allow for a full psychiatric report to be completed as well as further assessments of Dickason’s mentals state over the next 18 months. She will continue to be detained in Hillmorton Hospital’s forensic unit where she has been since her arrest.