News

Sibling feud over murder case comments

Marie Darragh and her daughter Charli Darragh at St Andrews nursing home in Ballina. Supplied picture.
Marie Darragh and her daughter Charli Darragh at St Andrews nursing home in Ballina. Supplied picture.

DARRAGH family siblings are in dispute over comments made to the media about the death of their mother Marie at Ballina's St Andrews Nursing Home last month .

Mrs Darragh, 82, and fellow resident Isobella Spencer, 77, were found unconscious in their beds about 7am on May 10 by nursing home staff and were pronounced dead shortly after.

Police are now treating the case as a double murder.

On Thursday, Mrs Darragh's daughter Charli told The Northern Star if she had moved her mother from the home 24 hours earlier she would still be alive today.

But Mrs Darragh's son, Jeff, says that is not correct.

Jeff said his sister Charli, whose real name is Judy, broke a family agreement made at their mother's funeral not to speak out about her death until the police investigation was finalised.

"I have spoken to the police involved in the investigation and they said when they get all their ducks in a row they will make an arrest," Mr Darragh said.

He said his sister's claims were motivated by "personal spite against the family".

Before Mrs Darragh was put in the nursing home in 2011 she was a smoker, was neglecting to eat and was put into hospital weighing only 48kg.

Then the family managed to get her into St Andrews, which, Mr Darragh said, turned her life around.

"They looked after her, got her to quit smoking and got her up to 78kg and it was wonderful," Mr Darragh said.

"She was in real good health after that. She was brilliant, better than she had ever been.

"Mum was so happy at St Andrews, she loved it there."

Mr Darragh said he hoped people around Australia disregard comments made in the media "by other distraught family members".

"I wish she would just let police do their job and let justice be served," he said.

A relative of Isobella Spencer, who did not want to be named, said St Andrews had done "a wonderful job with Isobella".

"Isobella was a very introverted, dignified lady and her death has been very undignified," the relative said.

A State Crime Command spokesman said police were still waiting on forensic test results from both autopsies.

Topics:  nursing home murders




Stay Connected

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

Teen goes on stolen credit card spending spree in Ballina

A 17-year-old has been charged with eight counts of fraud.

Buff contestants compete for Mr Beef crown

Dylan Hancok and Nick Taylor, of Casino, will battle it out for the Mr Beef Week title in Casino. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Mr Beef rules are, there are no rules

OPINION: Which is the more go ahead town Ballina or Lismore?

Busy Ballina Airport terminal after a Virgin Australia, Jetstar, and Rex Airlines arrive within 30min of each other. Photo Jay Cronan / The Northern Star

Ballina airport terminal is set to triple

Latest deals and offers

Lismore real estate agent celebrates 100th birthday

LJ Hooker Lismore principal Paul Deegan is the third generation to operate the 100-year-old family business.

A Lismore real estate is celebrating 100 years in business.

Coastal development keeps young people on Northern Rivers

Wes Bale is a 27-year-old born and bred Lennox Head local who is an example of the demographic shift in the region.

Young Northern Rivers residents are looking closer to home