Nurse accused of Ballina nursing home murders denied bail

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

UPDATE 3pm: A NURSE accused of murdering to women at Ballina's St Andrews Nursing Home last year has been refused bail in the Supreme Court.

After multiple bail applications in the Local Court, Megan Jean Haines solicitor Michael Blair lodged an application with the Supreme Court for bail.

Justice Geoffrey Bellew this afternoon refused the 47-year-old's bail application, adding that although the Crown's case against Haines was largely circumstantial, "it appears to be one of some strength".


INITIAL REPORT: A SUPREME Court Judge will hand down his decision on bail for accused Ballina nursing home murderer Megan Haines this afternoon.

Haines, 47, is charged with two counts of murder and common assault over the deaths of Marie Darragh, 82, and Isobella Spencer, 77, from fatal insulin doses on May 10 last year.

The court heard at the start of her night shift on May 9, last year, Megan Jean Haines  was told two complaints had been made and a third was pending by three residents of St Andrew's Village aged care home at Ballina.

The prosecution alleged Haines was the only nurse on duty that night and the only staff member with access to medications.

It was alleged Haines injected the women with insulin, causing fatal hypoglycaemia.

The third pending complaint was from 88-year-old Marjorie Patterson, who woke as Haines allegedly tried to inject her with an unscheduled and unnecessary dose, crown prosecutor Rebecca Gray said.

In applying for bail, Haines solicitor Michael Blair described the prosecution case as being "just above speculative."

"There are no witnesses, no CCTV, no swipe card records, no fingerprints, no DNA, no murder weapon, no insulin register," Fairfax reported Mr Blair said.

"It is impossible to tell when the insulin was administered and how much."

Mr Blair told the court Haines immigrated to Australia from South Africa in 2001.

He said she had no criminal record and her nursing registration had been suspended when she was arrested, so she had no chance of reoffending.

Ms Grey opposed bail saying Haines had the "means, motive and the opportunity" to commit the murders.

The court Heard Ms Darragh complained that Haines refused to apply cream to her genital area, saying it was "disgusting."

When Ms Spencer asked for assistance to go to the toilet she alleged Haines said "just piss in your pants."

"The only link between the deceased is they both made complaints about Ms Haines refusing to assist them that could not be explained away," Ms Gray said.

"In the context of her tenuous employment and how serious these complaints would have been the Crown says she did have a significant motive."

Justice Geoffrey Bellew will hand down his decision on bail this afternoon.

Topics:  ballina nursing home murders court crime editors picks megan haines murder

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