Lauren Dickason will plead not guilty to charges of murdering her three young daughters in Timaru, New Zealand last month. She is accused of the murder of 2-year-old twins Maya and Karla and their 6-year-old sister, Liane.
Dickason was hospitalised after the incident took place and had appeared in court on September 18 for a psychiatric assessment.
She was set to make her first court appearance on October 5, but the court heard that more time was needed for her assessment. As a result, she was exempt from this court appearance.
Dickason was then scheduled to appear in the High Court in Timaru on Friday, October 15, but her appearance, even via video, was excused on the grounds of still being “unwell” at Hillmorton Hospital, as Otago Daily Times explains.
The hearing was held in Christchurch before Justice Cameron Mander, while Defence lawyer Kerryn Beaton QC told the court that 40-year-old Dickason would be entering pleas of not guilty to all three charges. However, because she was not in court, she would need to sign a written notice confirming this so that counsel can enter the not guilty pleas on her behalf, Stuff reports.
Dickason, her husband Graham, who is also a doctor, and their children moved to New Zealand last month and had been in Timaru for just a week after coming out of New Zealand’s strictly managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ). During this time, one cannot leave their hotel room except for an hour of exercise in a courtyard per day.
It was alleged that Dickason stopped taking her medication to increase her chances of a successful immigration application.
The trial has already been scheduled for March 2023 and Dickason was remanded to a case review hearing on December 17. She will continue to be detained in Hillmorton Hospital’s forensic unit where she has been since her arrest, Stuff adds.
Picture: Lauren Dickason / Facebook