News

Nursing home murders: Another assault confirmed

FRONTING THE MEDIA: Pip Carter, CEO of St Andrews village in Ballina, addresses the national media over the police investigation of two deaths at the nursing home.
FRONTING THE MEDIA: Pip Carter, CEO of St Andrews village in Ballina, addresses the national media over the police investigation of two deaths at the nursing home. Doug Eaton

ON THE same night two elderly women were murdered at Ballina's St Andrews Nursing Home an even older resident was lucky to survive an assault.

A State Crime Command spokesman said an 88-year-old woman who was assaulted at the nursing home on May 10, was assisting detectives attached to Strike Force Odimi with their enquiries.

Marie Darragh, 77, and 82-year-old Isobella Spencer were both found unconscious in their beds on the same day.

They were pronounced deceased by paramedics and police launched an investigation.

St Andrews Nursing Home CEO Pip Carter yesterday confirmed a female resident of the home was "briefly admitted to hospital about the same time" as the women died.

Mr Carter said the resident had since returned to live at St Andrews. Police believe a nursing home staff member could be the killer and they are looking closely at the actions of staff on the night.

The state Crime Command spokesman said police were awaiting the results of further forensic testing to determine the cause of their death. The forensic testing is believed to be to determine if the women died as a result of medication they were given.

"Police would be looking to lay charges of the deaths of the two women and the assault," the spokesman said.

 

Third person assaulted?

CEO of St Andrew's Village aged-care facility in Ballina, Pip Carter, wouldn't confirm if a third person had been assaulted at the nursing home last month.

He was speaking after it was announced that the unexpected deaths of two women at the home in May were being treated as suspicious by police.

Mr Carter also would not confirm if any staff member under suspicion was still employed at the home.

"This is a police investigation," he said repeatedly to questioning.

He said he could "assure" the community that incidents like these would not happen again.

But he would not expand on how that assurance could be made, except in saying the police backed up that assurance.

On May 10, nursing home staff called police and paramedics after finding the two women, Isobella Spencer, 77, and Marie Darragh, 82, unconscious in their beds.

Mr Carter said staff and residents at the home have been "deeply distressed" by the two deaths, and the subsequent speculation in the community about the incidents.

He said, in a nursing home, staff were able to identify those who were nearing death, and the deaths of the two women were reported to police because they were "unexpected".

"We wanted to do the right thing by the relatives, so we brought the police in," he said. "The relatives have been very supportive.

"We have done the right thing. We are a great organisation and I am proud of our staff and our board."

Topics:  editors picks, homicide, nursing home murders, police




7 dramatic near misses on the Northern Rivers

ONCE BITTEN: Evans Head resident Craig Ison with the board he was riding when he was attacked by a great white shark at Main Beach. In the background is the new board made for him by his good friend Darin Reilly.  Photo Samantha Elley / Express Examiner

Lucky escapes, heroic rescues and eleventh-hour reprieves

Healthy outlook for hospital facilities in Coraki

FRESH START: Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, Paula Starkey, Claire Hetherington and George Thompson turn the first sod on Coraki's $4 million HealthOne facility.

Work is set to commence on a $4 million HealthOne.

‘Demolish it now’: Iconic waterfront cafe now an eyesore

SQUALOR: Cr Jeff Johnson is pictured inside the former Shelly’s on the Beach Cafe building.

The building has been trashed and squatters have moved in

Latest deals and offers

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

Tom Hiddleston not worried about relationship attention

Attention doesn't bother 'authentic' Hiddleston

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

THE HARD WORD: Werewolves set to prowl around Lismore

Loaded Entertainment will bring Lycanthrope to Lismore. Photo Contributed

Newcastle metal band Lycanthrope will head here as part of a tour

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started