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

Nursing home murders accused refused bail again

A NURSE charged with the 2014 murders of two women at a Ballina nursing home has been again refused bail.

Marie Darragh, 82, and Isobella Spencer, 77, were found unconscious in their beds on the morning of May 10, the same day an 88-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted by Megan Jean Haines.

Haines appeared at Lismore Local Court via video link from Sydney's Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre and was represented by her solicitor Michael Blair.

Mr Blair argued Haines should be released on bail due to five reasons.

A weak prosecution case, a lack of prior criminal convictions, a good background, her risk of reoffending was extremely remote and she had the responsibility of being the sole carer of her children aged five and 13.

Prosecutor Ms Grey told the court the crown had a strong circumstantial case against Haines, who had previously been suspended as a nurse in Victoria, and was on probation when the women died.

Magistrate David Heilpern refused Haines bail saying she had the opportunity, means and motive to commit the alleged offences.

Daughter of victim shares relief at accused being refused bail: Charli Darragh speaks outside court today. Her mother was one of the two elderly women allegedly murdered by a nurse at a Ballina nursing home last year.
Daughter of victim shares relief at accused being refused bail: Charli Darragh speaks outside court today. Her mother was one of the two elderly women allegedly murdered by a nurse at a Ballina nursing home last year.