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Erin Patterson Returns To Court For First Time In Five Months

Erin Patterson made her first public appearance in over five months on Monday morning as she returned to court via video link at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court. 

Ms Patterson was allegedly accused of murdering her ex-husband’s parents, Don and Gail Patterson, both aged 70, and Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson, aged 66. 

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The three died in hospital within a week after eating a beef wellington on July 29. While Ms Wilkinson’s husband, Korumburra pastor lan Wilkinson, survived after spending close to two months in the hospital. 

Appearing from a secure wing at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, Ms Patterson, dressed in a baggy blue jumper, seemed relaxed as she awaited the hearing to commence shortly after 10am.

When Magistrate Tim Walsh asked if she could hear and see the court, Patterson responded, “Yes I can, thank you.”

However, the court hearing was stood down after no appearance from either the prosecution or Patterson’s lawyers on the video link. 

Magistrate Walsh said: “It appears some people might have joined the wrong link,” before leaving the bench. “I’m going to stand down while that gets sorted out,” he added.

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The case garnered international attention last year following the deaths of three family members who fell ill after lunch at her Leongatha home. 

The 49-year-old was also charged with five counts of attempted murder, including one for Mr Wilkinson and four for her ex-husband Simon Patterson.

In charge sheets released by the court, police allege Patterson made three previous attempts on Simon’s life in November 2021, May 2022, and September 2022. 

The fourth count alleges she attempted to murder him at a lunch on July 29, which Simon did not attend. 

Police previously said that the three deaths displayed symptoms of having eaten death cap mushrooms.

Despite the allegations, Patterson has denied involvement, releasing a statement in August last year and before her formal charges.

“I really want to repeat that I had absolutely no reason to hurt these people whom I loved,” she said.

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