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The Newcastle Herald
BY INGRID BOWN
27/08/2008 10:39:00 PM
A HUNTER woman who planned to poison her two children before killing herself was allegedly turned away from Maitland Hospital’s mental health unit the day before the attempted murder-suicide, a court heard yesterday.
The woman, 40, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was committed to stand trial yesterday on two counts of attempting to administer poison with intent to murder, and two of administering poison with intent to injure.
Evidence tendered to Newcastle Local Court during committal proceedings said the woman had a history of severe depression, including suicidal thoughts, and had been “in and out” of the hospital’s mental health unit for six months.
On January 25 this year, she was at home with her children, a girl and boy, when she allegedly told her daughter: “I want us all to die together.”
The children ran from the house, panicked, to a neighbour. While the woman was in the unit alone, she allegedly emptied a full packet of anti-psychotic medication and two full packets of anti-depressant medication into three glasses, and filled them with orange juice.
When they would not dissolve, she poured the mixture into a bowl and used a potato masher to combine them. She then tipped it back into the glasses.
The woman then called out to her two children to come home. When they returned, she allegedly locked the front door.
She told the children: “I want us all to die together.” The girl said to her: “Is there medication in the juice? I don’t want to die, mummy.” She replied: “No, trust me.”
The girl took a sip, noticed it tasted strange and spat it out. She again asked her mother if her medication was in the drink, and she told her “yes”.
The children left the unit and alerted neighbours.
In an interview with police, the woman said she had been depressed for some time because of sexual abuse in her childhood.
She said she had been in and out of Maitland Hospital, and tried to be admitted the day before but “they wouldn’t put me in there”.