Mother accused of trying to kill daughter claims she only wanted insulin to get her admitted to hospital

Emily Moulton
The Nightly
4 Min Read
A mother accused of trying to kill her disabled daughter with insulin has told her trial her reasoning behind obtaining the drug.
A mother accused of trying to kill her disabled daughter with insulin has told her trial her reasoning behind obtaining the drug. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

The mother accused of trying to kill her severely disabled daughter with insulin has told her trial she never intended to murder her and only wanted the drug to get her admitted to the hospital so she would receive the care she needed.

Taking the stand to defend herself, the woman, who cannot be identified to protect the privacy of her child, told the Supreme Court of WA she never specifically asked her doctor for the diabetic medication and had actually gone to him on December 13, 2021, about giving her the Hep B vaccine.

The court was told the woman had believed her daughter, who has a rare condition that has left her with severe cerebral palsy and unable to walk, talk or eat properly, had been mistakenly injected with the vaccine at birth because she suffered from a side effect linked to the jab.

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In her evidence, the mother detailed the ongoing issues she had with trying to obtain access to services for her daughter including her concerns her daughter was in the early stages of dying because she was failing to put on weight and had increasing problems with her bowels.

She told the court she had gone to Dr Pieter Austin to ask him if he would inject her daughter with the drug to bring on a reaction so she could get her admitted to hospital.

She claimed that when she asked him his reply was “curt and firm” telling the jury that he told her that “he would never do that to her”.

“He did not want to cause her any more suffering,” she said. “He did not want to cause her any more pain. He went from there to saying we could use insulin.”

The woman said she asked him more questions and expressed her concerns about the legalities of using insulin, and claimed he told her it would be “fine and undetectable”.

She told the court Dr Austin wrote her a prescription, gave her information about how much to use and then said to her “that much should induce death”.

“That’s when I realised we were talking about two different things,” she said.

Doctor Pieter Austin
Doctor Pieter Austin Credit: Unknown/Supplied

When asked by her lawyer, Anthony Eyers, why she took the prescription and then had it filled, she said it was because she needed to get her daughter access to services.

“My intention has only always been to use it to get her into hospital via symptoms that would arise from a very small amount,” she said.

However, the trial has been told the woman did not use the insulin from that prescription but allegedly used insulin from a second prescription given to her by her doctor.

Austin, who is currently serving a jail term for the attempted murder of the child in 2022, admitted to supplying the mother with both prescriptions.

In his testimony, he claimed the woman came to him wanting a “humane” way to end her daughter’s life and that she had confessed to trying to kill her daughter before by trying to smother her with a pillow and glad wrap.

But the mother denied she said this claiming she “only ever asked for help”.

“I never said anything like that,” she said. “I don’t even joke or sarcasm or anything like that at all.”

With regards to the second prescription, the mother said she went back to Austin on January 5 2022 and asked him about the Hep B injection then asked if insulin was less painful.

She testified the doctor refused to administer the Hep B injection adding he “shut me down”.

She then claimed he made the comment: “I can’t expect a mother to do this, do you want me to do it?”

“I was firm, I said no,” she said. “I knew what his purpose was. And that is not what my purpose was. I was very definite. I said no.”

The court was told almost two weeks later the mother went back to Austin because her daughter’s health was deteriorating.

She testified she told him that she felt that she was “going to use script and I would do it next couple of days”.

“I asked him for the thinnest needle as I didn’t want to hurt her,” she said. “I asked him how much he would use and he measured out with his hands.”

When asked why she asked that the woman claimed it was so she knew how much not to use.

“I was going to use a hell of a lot less.,” she said.

“I did not have his intention.

“My intention... I needed her to have some symptoms that were not... normal ... and were easily reversible and could earn us one or two nights in hospital.

“I needed multiple doctors under the same roof. I needed that for her if she was going to survive.”

The woman is accused of injecting her daughter with insulin on January 19, 2022.

The trial continues.

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