St Andrews Village nursing home in Ballina.
St Andrews Village nursing home in Ballina. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Nursing home murder trial expected to last for 6-8 weeks

UPDATE 11.45am: THE Supreme Court trial of former Ballina nurse Megan Haines, accused of murdering two residents of a Ballina nursing home in Lismore, has been closed to the public this morning while a jury is selected.

The expected six to eight week trial of Haines, 47, is presided over by NSW Supreme Court Justice Peter Garling.

Police allege that in May 2014 Ms Haines administered fatal doses of insulin to St Andrew's Village nursing home residents Marie Darragh, 82, and Isobella Spence, 77.

Outside court, one of Ms Darragh's daughters, Ballina resident Jan Parkinson, said the two and a half year pre-trial period had been a "long hard slog" which had taken a toll on her health.

"It's been 29 months to the day," Ms Parkinson said.

"I am looking forward to it," she said of the trial.

"My health has deteriorated and we need to get on."

Another of Ms Darragh's daughter's Charli Darragh, is also expected to address the media at lunch.

INITIAL: THE trial of a woman accused of murdering two residents of a Ballina nursing home will begin today.

Police allege former nurse Megan Jean Haines, 48, administered fatal doses of insulin to St Andrew's Village nursing home residents Marie Darragh, 82, and Isobella Spencer, 77, in May 2014.

Both women died in hospital on May 10 after being found unconscious in their beds.

Ms Haines has entered a plea of not guilty.

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

The trial will begin before the NSW Supreme Court in Lismore today.

Both sides are expected to call on expert witnesses, other St Andrew's nurses and management in a trial predicted to last eight weeks.

Haines was arrested in the Victorian town Seaspray and extradited to NSW almost a month after Ms Darragh and Ms Spencer's deaths.



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