Accused mushroom killer Erin Patterson to face court earlier than expected

Kate Phillips
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Erin Patterson, 49, of Leongatha is charged with several counts of murder and attempted murder.
Erin Patterson, 49, of Leongatha is charged with several counts of murder and attempted murder. Credit: AAP

The woman accused of murdering three people by feeding them a lunch laced with deadly mushrooms will appear in court earlier than expected for a “special mention”.

Erin Patterson, 49, was charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder, four of which relate to her ex-husband Ian Patterson, in November last year.

Don and Gail Patterson
Don and Gail Patterson died after eating a meal cooked by their daughter-in-law Erin Patterson. Credit: AAP

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Police allege she killed her former in-laws Don and Gail Patterson, both 70, and Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson, 66, who had all eaten a poisonous meal of beef wellington at her home in Leongatha.

All three died in hospital days after consuming the meal on July 29.

Mr Patterson had been due to attend that meal but cancelled at the last minute.

Ms Patterson, who has been held on remand for four months in the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, was due to appear in court on May 3.

However, on Tuesday, a Magistrates’ Court of Victoria spokeswoman told news.com.au that Ms Patterson would return to court remotely on April 22 for “case management purposes” first.

The latest court date update comes a week after a prison source told The Herald Sun that Ms Patterson was placed in the protection unit, isolated from other inmates due to safety risks.

“If Erin got out of protection, the girls would hurt her,” they said.

“She allegedly killed three elderly people.

“There’s a rule, you don’t touch the elderly and you don’t touch babies so because of that, you go into protection.

“She would be doing it very, very hard in there as she would only be able to speak to two or three girls and that’s it.”

Erin Patterson's property in Leongatha, Victoria
A number of items have allegedly been stolen from the Victorian home murder accused Erin Patterson. Credit: AAP

It is believed Ms Patterson is being housed in one of the self-contained units which comes with a bed, shower, toilet, sink, desk and closet and she may have access to a kitchen.

Unlike other prisoners, because she is on remand, she would not be when required to work within the prison.

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