News

Accused killer nurse 'knew alleged victims complained'

ACCUSED OF MURDER: Former nurse Megan Jean Haines is accused of murdering two residents at a Ballina nursing home. Photo contributed
ACCUSED OF MURDER: Former nurse Megan Jean Haines is accused of murdering two residents at a Ballina nursing home. Photo contributed

A NURSING home director has testified she told accused murderer Megan Jean Haines three nursing home residents had made complaints against her before two of them died.

St Andrew's aged care centre director of care Wendy Turner told Sydney Supreme Court she had handed Ms Haines documents the previous night outlining two complaints against her, and had told her the names of the residents who had filed them.

The court heard four phone call recordings made the morning Marie Darragh and Isabella Spencer died in their beds in May 2014.

Ms Haines was calling Ms Turner to arrange a meeting to discuss the complaints.

"Is it normal to have so many complaints or is it just me?" Haines asked on one recording.

"I really don't know what I'm doing wrong.

"Because if someone could tell me what I'm doing wrong - speaking too much, or am I staying in the room too much, am I too rough?

"I'm not very strong, I'm only little."

Ms Turner gave evidence she told Ms Haines one of the complainants was Ms Darragh when she handed the documents over.

She said she mentioned another pending complaint but did not tell Ms Haines the resident's name.

That complaint was from Ms Spencer.

"I said, well that's why we need to meet on Tuesday so you can give your version of events," Ms Turner had said.

"I also cautioned Megan and said to her that it was very important that she not raise these matters directly with any of the complainants.

"That she should not approach them, and that if she should need to attend to them at any time of the night that she should take care staff with her."

Experts found Ms Spencer and Ms Darragh overdosed on insulin that night.

Ms Turner described her observations of both women in the moments before they died.

She said Ms Darragh was unconscious and "blueish in colour", indicating she was short of oxygen.

"Her respiratory rate was very shallow and laboured and I considered her to be very near death," she said.

Ms Turner said Ms Spencer appeared to be in a similar condition and she thought death was imminent.

The jury heard Haines made the phone calls that same day, but was not told the two women had died.

A meeting between Ms Turner and Haines went ahead at 2pm and was "conducted as if they were still alive", the court heard.

Ms Darragh's grand-daughter Shannon Ann Parkinson also gave evidence.

She said she read aloud an early mother's day card from another relative and heard Ms Darragh make a noise just moments before she died in her arms.

Ms Darragh's daughter Jan Parkinson told the court she had visited the nursing home the previous day and had watched her mother sing at a concert with other residents.

She intended to return the following day to cook her pancakes and celebrate an early Mother's Day.

The case is expected to continue for up to eight weeks.

- ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  ballina ballina nursing home murders court insulin isabella spencer marie darragh megan haines megan jean haines murder st andrew's wendy turner


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

New lease of life for young kookaburras

FREE TO ROAM: Juvenile kookaburras return to the wild.

WIRES begins the year with kookaburra rescue

Cute Zeus looks like a god but is a goof

I'M YOURS: Zeus - God of Cuteness.

In the Doghouse Column is back

Make sure your business's new year's resolutions are attainable

Open For Business columinst from the LCCI Deborah Benhayon.

Getting your business's goals for 2017 down pat

Local Partners

Married at First Sight: M'boro dad to feature on reality TV

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Farmer Sean Hollands, 35, from Maryborough will feature on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

A bull riding accident put everything into perspective for Sean.

Your chance to drive like Magnum P.I.

Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. with his trusty 'side-kick' Ferrari.

FERRARI that appeared on classic detective show goes to auction.

Ocean Sleeper discuss being 'Six Feet Down'.

Ocean Sleeper make waves with their new EP. Photo Contributed

Gippsland band shines at Unify

Bowie's final music EP No Plan released

NEW: Artwork for David Bowie's posthumous 2016 EP, No Plan.

David Bowie's 28th and final album

Get the Italian vibes next month in Lismore

CIAO: Popular Italian entertainer, Domenico.

Traditional Italian music and dance by Domenico

Married At First Sight: Ipswich bachelor seeks love

READY FOR IT: Ipswich man Simon McQuillan will appear on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

Romance would top off recovery for Booval man

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!