A Western Australian mother accused of attempting to murder her severely disabled daughter because she allegedly believed it was in the child’s best interests to die peacefully remains behind bars after her bail application was rejected.
Most important points:
- The woman has been in custody since she was charged at the end of January
- She was the child’s sole, 24-hour carer, the court heard
- A doctor has also been charged over his alleged role in the case
The 40-year-old woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was charged earlier this year over allegations that she went to a doctor’s office in Albany, on the south coast of WA, in January and left with a prescription for synthetic insulin that was subsequently dispensed. administered by injection to the six-year-old girl.
Two days later, a relative noticed the child was unwell, and the girl was taken to a medical facility in Albany before being transferred to Perth Children’s Hospital.
The mother was arrested at the end of January and has been incarcerated ever since.
‘Act Born of Despair’: Defense
Her bail request was heard in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court, with her lawyer, Anthony Eyers, claiming that the woman was unlikely to contest the allegation that she injected the child, but it would be up to the prosecution to prove her intentions. used to be .
While the woman watched the procedure via video link from Melaleuca Women’s Prison, with full PPE, Mr Eyers described her as the sole, 24-hour carer for her daughter, and suggested that what she would have done was “an act of which was confirmed “of desperation”.
The court heard that the woman had made statements suggesting that she sincerely believed “it was in the best interests of the child that she should die peacefully”.
Prison conditions ‘difficult’
Mr Eyers said the woman had no criminal record and was of good character.
He said the experience of being questioned by police, charged and denied bail had been a “huge shock to her life and expectations”.
He also argued that there were concerns that the “harsh” conditions in the prison where she was held, mainly caused by the pandemic, could be dangerous to her mental health.
Evidence that woman acted openly: prosecution
Prosecutor Paul Usher opposed bail, telling the court there was evidence of “overt conduct” by the mother, including going to a pharmacy after seeing the doctor, getting the prescription filled, and then injecting her daughter.
He also said that in her videotaped interview with the police, the woman admitted what she had done.
The court heard that the child was still at Perth Children’s Hospital, and Mr Usher said there were concerns that the woman, if released, could pose a risk to the girl.
Magistrate Kate McDonald ruled against releasing the woman on bail, but suppressed her reasons for doing so.
The woman is due to appear in court again next month.
The doctor who allegedly prescribed the drug, Pieter Austin, has also been charged with attempted murder, but has not filed for bail.