A mum accused of murdering her two adult children by allegedly fatally dosing them with prescription medication will face two separate trials.

Maree Mavis Crabtree is facing two charges of murder following the deaths of her daughter Erin and son Jonathan on separate dates in 2012 and 2017 respectively, along with charges of attempted murder and fraud.

She is due to stand trial early next year.

On Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Peter Davis ordered Ms Crabtree to face a separate trial for Erin’s alleged murder.

She will face another trial on the charge of murdering Jonathan, alongside a charge of attempted murder and three fraud charges.

He also dismissed an application brought by her defence counsel for a stay of the proceedings.

“What we know is that (the key witness) knew we were interested in the messages when she asked (another witness) to delete the messages,” defence barrister Angus Edwards told the court.

Ms Crabtree is facing two charges of murder, one charge of attempted murder and three counts of attempted fraud. She has not entered a plea to these charges.

The Crown will allege she gave Erin, 18, a fatal overdose of drugs before Ms Crabtree went on a cruise with her son in 2012.

Mr Crabtree, 26, also died from a fatal overdose in 2017.

Both deaths were initially ruled as suicides before Ms Crabtree was charged with murder in 2018.

It will also be alleged Ms Crabtree heavily medicated her children to keep them both bedridden.

Her attempted fraud charges relate to allegations she claimed disability benefits on their behalf, as well as insurance claims following their deaths.

On Wednesday, Mr Edwards said the key witness in the case was alleged to have given a different version of events for some two years.

“She comes up with this version in … murky circumstances surrounding her motivation,” Mr Edwards submitted.

He told the court the defence had been prevented from seeing how this version “first materialised” and what it might have said.

“What we’ll never be able to cross-examine is what her first version was and how it arose … what it was she said when she first came up with this version,” Mr Edwards said.

Crown prosecutor Mark McCarthy said the defence could take advantage of the alleged destruction of the evidence during cross-examination at trial.

“It is simply unknown what the content of those communications would be, such that it can’t be said to amount to an unfairness,” he said.

Supreme Court Justice Peter Davis will deliver his decision on the stay later on Wednesday.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *