South African Doctor, charged with the murder of her three children, sent for psychiatric assessment

The mother charged with the murder of her three young South African children in New Zealand has been sent for a psychiatric assessment.

New Zealand media reported that 40-year-old Lauren Dickason, a doctor from Pretoria appeared before Judge Dominic Dravitzki in the Timaru District Court on Saturday.

She has been charged with the murders of her three young girls, – twin daughters Maya and Karla, 2, and their older sister Liane, 6.

Dickason, along with her husband, Graham, an orthopedic surgeon from Pretoria immigrated to Timaru in the Canterbury region of New Zealand in August. They had just come out of mandatory Covid-19 isolation and had been in their new home for only a week when the tragedy occurred.

It is alleged that Graham, who was employed by Timaru Hospital, came home at about 10pm on Thursday and found his three children dead.

His wife was in the house at the time.

According to media reports, emergency services were called to the house but could not save the children.

According to New Zealand news website, Dickason appeared before Judge Dominic Dravitzki in the Timaru District Court at 10am on Saturday, New Zealand time.

She was escorted by two police officers into court and was dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and black trousers, Stuff reported

Dickason looked calm and kept her arms folded close to her chest. She stared at the floor for much of her appearance, the news report said.

She did not enter a plea.

A South Canterbury District Health Board psychiatrist told the court remanding Dickason to prison was felt to be inappropriate.

Judge Dravitzki remanded Dickason to Hillmorton Hospital in Christchurch, for a psychiatric assessment.

She expected to reappear in the High Court in Timaru on October 5.

According to reports, Judge Dravitzki suppressed some details of the crime.

The family came to Timaru, a city of 29,000 on New Zealand’s South Island recently, police have said. They left the compulsory two-week managed isolation last week.

New Zealand media reported that Dickason and her husband Graham are doctors.

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