National | Arrest

Woman charged with murder of three children remanded for psychiatric assessment

A 40-year-old woman has appeared in Timaru District Court today charged with murder in relation to the death of three children in Timaru on Thursday night.

Lauren Anne Dickason, 40, the mother of the three children, appeared before Judge Dominic Dravitzki at 10am on Saturday morning. She stood quietly in the dock, with her arms wrapped around herself, looking at the floor for most of her appearance.

She did not enter a plea.

Judge  Dravitski remanded Dickason to Hillmorton Hospital in Christchurch for a psychiatric assessment. She will next appear in the High Court in Timaru on 5 October.

The duty solicitor applied for interim name suppression for Dickason but this was withdrawn after media opposed the application.

6-year-old Liane Dickason and her two younger sisters - twins Maya and Karla, 2, were found dead in their home late on Thursday night. A woman was also found at the property and transported to hospital and is said to be in a stable condition.

The family had recently arrived in Aotearoa from South Africa with their parents, both medical professionals, and were living in a property understood to be used to accommodate staff at the nearby Timaru hospital.

Police said on Friday morning investigators were speaking with people from the Queen St address and were not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident. An arrest was made late on Friday night.