Mother accused of murdering her daughters must undergo psychiatric assessment
Lauren Dickason, the South African woman accused and charged with the murder of her three young daughters, appeared in Timaru District Court in Canterbury, New Zealand on Saturday, September 18. The 40-year-old doctor did not plead guilty and was remanded in custody.
DICKASON APPEARS BEFORE THE COURT OF TIMARU
Dickason is accused of killing her twins, aged two, and their older sister, aged six. Her husband Graham came home and found the children’s bodies Thursday evening. Dickason was arrested and charged with the murder the next day – after initially being held at a nearby hospital.
Judge Dominic Dravitzki referred Dickason to Hillmorton Hospital in Christchurch for a mental psychiatric assessment, according to Thing. Dravitzky deleted some of the details of the alleged murders. A local psychiatrist reportedly told the court that it would be inappropriate to return the accused to prison. Dickason did not plead guilty when he appeared in court.
After his psychiatric assessment, Dickason is scheduled to appear in Timaru’s High Court on October 5.
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The Dickason family recently arrived in New Zealand and left compulsory isolation last week. The children were reportedly murdered at a home in Timaru which is commonly used to house staff at the nearby hospital, where Graham worked as an orthopedic surgeon.
New Zealand police said a crime scene examination would continue on Saturday at the Queen Street address. Members of the country’s South African community left flowers and a soft toy, along with messages of support, near the property, according to Radio New Zealand.