Accused killer nurse 'knew alleged victims complained'

ACCUSED OF MURDER: Former nurse Megan Jean Haines is accused of murdering two residents at a Ballina nursing home. Photo contributed
ACCUSED OF MURDER: Former nurse Megan Jean Haines is accused of murdering two residents at a Ballina nursing home. Photo contributed

A NURSING home director has testified she told accused murderer Megan Jean Haines three nursing home residents had made complaints against her before two of them died.

St Andrew's aged care centre director of care Wendy Turner told Sydney Supreme Court she had handed Ms Haines documents the previous night outlining two complaints against her, and had told her the names of the residents who had filed them.

The court heard four phone call recordings made the morning Marie Darragh and Isabella Spencer died in their beds in May 2014.

Ms Haines was calling Ms Turner to arrange a meeting to discuss the complaints.

"Is it normal to have so many complaints or is it just me?" Haines asked on one recording.

"I really don't know what I'm doing wrong.

"Because if someone could tell me what I'm doing wrong - speaking too much, or am I staying in the room too much, am I too rough?

"I'm not very strong, I'm only little."

Ms Turner gave evidence she told Ms Haines one of the complainants was Ms Darragh when she handed the documents over.

She said she mentioned another pending complaint but did not tell Ms Haines the resident's name.

That complaint was from Ms Spencer.

"I said, well that's why we need to meet on Tuesday so you can give your version of events," Ms Turner had said.

"I also cautioned Megan and said to her that it was very important that she not raise these matters directly with any of the complainants.

"That she should not approach them, and that if she should need to attend to them at any time of the night that she should take care staff with her."

Experts found Ms Spencer and Ms Darragh overdosed on insulin that night.

Ms Turner described her observations of both women in the moments before they died.

She said Ms Darragh was unconscious and "blueish in colour", indicating she was short of oxygen.

"Her respiratory rate was very shallow and laboured and I considered her to be very near death," she said.

Ms Turner said Ms Spencer appeared to be in a similar condition and she thought death was imminent.

The jury heard Haines made the phone calls that same day, but was not told the two women had died.

A meeting between Ms Turner and Haines went ahead at 2pm and was "conducted as if they were still alive", the court heard.

Ms Darragh's grand-daughter Shannon Ann Parkinson also gave evidence.

She said she read aloud an early mother's day card from another relative and heard Ms Darragh make a noise just moments before she died in her arms.

Ms Darragh's daughter Jan Parkinson told the court she had visited the nursing home the previous day and had watched her mother sing at a concert with other residents.

She intended to return the following day to cook her pancakes and celebrate an early Mother's Day.

The case is expected to continue for up to eight weeks.


Topics:  ballina ballina nursing home murders court insulin isabella spencer marie darragh megan haines megan jean haines murder st andrew's wendy turner

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Cannons firing at reef carnival

LIL CHAMPS: The Cannonvale Canons performed strongly at the Great Barrier Reef A-grade Swim Carnival.

Cannonvale team do well at carnival.

Sorrento pair not going anywhere

PICTURE PERFECT: Petrit and Julie Istogu on the deck at Sorrento Restaurant and Bar.

Sorrento celebrate 6th birthday.

Fairytale PCYC team off to Mackay grand final

ON THEIR WAY: The PCYC basketball team is headed to the Mackay grand final.

Whitsunday basketball team off to grand final.

Local Partners

Have a camp and scare at BIG4

Halloween is just around the corner and Big 4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort is the place to be

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tropical beats to rock Airlie

ON STAGE: Richie Ramone is best known for being a drummer for punk band the Ramones.

Are you ready for the Ramones?

Buy your own brothel: Scarlet Harem for sale

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The Coast's first brothel, Scarlet Harem at Kunda Park, is up for sale.

Coast brothel madam sells up

Phenomenon to land in Prossie

TOP SHELF: Dirty Dick's theatre restaurant is coming to Proserpine Entertainment Centre.

Classic show to arrive in Proserpine.

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June