Lauren Dickason: ‘She did not kill them out of love,’ forensic psychiatrist tells the court

The Dickason family moved to New Zealand in 2021. Picture: Facebook.

The Dickason family moved to New Zealand in 2021. Picture: Facebook.

Published Aug 2, 2023


The trial of a South African woman accused of allegedly murdering her three daughters proceeded in the High Court in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Wednesday.

Originally from Pretoria, Lauren Dickason, 42, is accused of allegedly murdering six-year-old Liané and two-year-old twins Maya and Karla by strangling them with cable ties in September 2021.

Her husband, orthopaedic surgeon Graham Dickason discovered the bodies.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Erik Monasterio remains on the stand as Lauren’s defence counsel, Anne Toohey continues to grill him on the state of her client.

According to New Zealand media, Lauren's legal team would base their defence on insanity and infanticide.

However, earlier this week Monasterio testified Lauren did not suffer from postpartum depression after the birth of her twins as she had been diagnosed with depression prior.

Lauren indicated she may have had altruistic motive to other experts the court heard, Stuff.NZ reported, but, Monasterio stated he could not identify this based on the evidence he was presented with.

Toohey put it to him that if her client had killed her children out of love, did it not mean she did not appreciate the fact that it was morally wrong.

However, Monasterio urged her to perhaps put that statement to other experts and the information before him suggested she did not kill her children out of love.

It was further suggested to the former Canterbury Mental Health Services clinical director that Lauren had not planned the murders of her children.

But, he could not comment on whether there was indeed any planning or not.

During earlier cross-examination, Monasterio also told the court that it was his opinion Lauren was not psychotic at the time of the alleged murders.

The family immigrated from South Africa to New Zealand in 2021 and had only been settled into their new home in Timaru, Canterbury for a week before the alleged murders.

The trial continues.