Charged with mum’s murder — (The Courier)

SSRI Ed note: Woman on antidepressants kills muched loved mother in nursing home.

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The Courier


16/12/2008 11:39:00 PM

A BALLARAT woman has been charged with murdering her elderly mother.

Maria Clark appeared in the Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, charged with murder.

Homicide squad detectives were called to Ballarat after Clark went to the city’s police station with another person about 7pm on Monday night.

Her 81-year-old mother Agnes Caris died at Nazareth House nursing home on Sunday night.

Although police declined to comment, The Courier understands Mrs Caris suffered a stroke on Thursday.

Yesterday, Clark, 50, looked dazed as she sat with her head down during the brief hearing.

Tearful relatives watched on as Clark sat in the dock accompanied by a police officer and listened to her solicitor Mike Wardell apply for a suppression order on the case.

Mr Wardell told Magistrate Kay Robertson some family members were yet to be informed about the circumstances of the death and to learn what had happened through the media would cause “enormous distress”.

The request was denied.

Mr Wardell said his client was taking medication for depression and other complaints which would need to be managed during her time in custody.

“Because of the circumstances, my client is in a fragile, emotional state,” he said.

Detective Senior Constable Steven Campbell, of the Ballarat Criminal Investigation Unit, said Mrs Caris had been a resident at Nazareth House for two months before her death.

Death notices placed in The Courier yesterday included a tribute from Clark and her husband and children.

The notice described Mrs Caris as a “most adored mum”.

“Loved you yesterday, love you today, will love you for ever. Thank you for being there for us,” the notice said.

Other tributes from family members described Mrs Caris passing away peacefully at Nazareth House.

Clark was remanded in custody after a brief filing hearing yesterday.

She was not required to enter a plea to the charge.

The case was adjourned for a committal mention on April 16 next year.