Woman accused of killing three with beef wellington says two words in court hearing
Erin Patterson is accused of murdering her relatives by feeding them poisonous mushrooms.
An Australian woman charged with murdering three people by feeding them poisoned mushrooms is also accused of trying to murder her ex-partner on four occasions, court documents say.
Erin Patterson, 49, was arrested at her home on Thursday and charged with three counts of murder and five of attempted murder.
The charges relate to a family lunch she hosted at her home in Leongatha, Victoria, in July, during which she is accused of feeding guests poisonous mushrooms baked into a beef wellington.
Ms Patterson maintains her innocence.
Appearing in court on Friday, Ms Patterson said just two words- ‘good morning’- as she was told her case was adjourned until May 3 in order to give prosecutors time to analyse computer equipment seized from her home during a police search.
She did not apply for bail and will be remanded in custody in the meantime.
According to court documents released on Friday, police claim Ms Patterson attempted to kill her estranged husband Simon Patterson three times between November 2021 and September 2022.
The alleged fourth attempt was on the day of the beef wellington poisoning.
Her husband did not attend the dinner, but his parents Gail and Don Patterson did, along with his aunt Heather Wilkinson, who were all killed after eating the poisonous dish.
Heather’s husband Ian miraculously survived the poisoning, but was left critically ill and spent two months in a hospital.
He was last seen in public attending his wife’s funeral.
Patterson’s lawyer Ben Doogue hinted the case could ‘well go on for a very long time’.
Following her arrest, officers were witnessed hauling out bags of evidence, including tech such as hard drives and USB sticks obtained during a search of her home.
Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said: ‘Today’s charges are just the next step in what has been an incredibly complex, methodical and thorough investigation by homicide squad detectives.’
He added that the investigation ‘is not over yet’.
‘I know that people will no doubt have many unanswered questions about this matter, however I urge people to be especially mindful of unnecessary speculation and not sharing misinformation,’ he continued.
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