Warning: This story contains graphic details and may be triggering to some readers.
The trial against South African woman, Lauren Dickason, accused of murdering her three young daughters continued in Christchurch on Tuesday, with the arresting officer Detective Micheal Kneebone giving evidence.
Kneebone interviewed Lauren the day after the murders, according to 1News.
During the interview, Kneebone asked what she did after her husband Graham had left for his work function, which was around 7pm.
At the time, Kneebone also asked her if she had thought about this kind of thing before.
Lauren responded saying: “Not to the degree of what happened last night, no… last night something just triggered me and I just, just the end.”
She said the night of the murder, the kids were out of control.
“They don’t listen to me at all. I think that’s one thing lockdown has taught me – I don’t know my kids at all,” she said.
“You think you’re going to move to another town and things are going to be different, but it brings up a whole lot of new problems.”
Lauren told Kneebone that she then went into the garage to find “something that would work” and found the cable ties.
Wanting clarity, Kneebone asked: “And when you went in you told the kids that you were making necklaces, is that right?”
Lauren nodded in agreement.
The officer then asked Lauren if the children were speaking to her while she was busy.
“Not the two little ones, but the oldest one was very angry and she wants to know why I’m doing this to them because I’m the best mum and she loves me,” Lauren replied.
“The first twin (Karla) was being really, really horrible to me lately... that’s why I did her first.”
Lauren told Kneebone that after she had killed her children, she checked for vital signs, then she took some medication - the tramadol another officer asked her about upon entering the home that night.
Lauren Dickason denied the murdering her daughters on September 16, 2021, and her defence was using an insanity and infanticide argument but the prosecution wants to prove that she knew what she was doing on the night almost two years ago.
On the night of the murders, Graham, came home from a work function to find the three girls, Maya, Karla and Liane, dead. Lauren had taken Tramadol, according to first responders.
Lauren was then taken to hospital for medical evaluation. She was interviewed by Kneebone after being released from hospital.
During cross examination in court this on Tuesday, Lauren’s attorney Kerryn Beaton asked Kneebone why he interviewed her in a room with a sofa and not the usual interview room.
He said it was not unusual adding that he had done this before.
Beaton counted six times during the interview where Kneebone said he understood it was hard for Lauren, Stuff.NZ reported in a copy of court proceedings.
She asked why he did this.
Kneebone said he could see Lauren was struggling and wanted to show her sympathy.
Beaton asked if Kneebone asked Lauren why she killed her children.
He said he did not, and that her felt as though she told him why without him actually asking it.
He was also questioned about Lauren’s state during the time of the first interview.
Kneebone said he trusted the professional opinion of those working in the hospital, as they saw it fit to release her.
Beaton counter asked: “Were you aware at the time of the interview that there was a suspected overdose?”
Kneebone responded saying: “I knew she’d taken medication the night before, but not to what extent”.
Are you or someone you know affected by mental health? If so here are some important numbers:
The SA Depression and Anxiety Group's 24-hour mental health helpline: 080-045-6789.
The SA Federation for Mental Health: 011-781-1852.