Insulin vial 'went missing' before nursing home deaths

Suspected murder victim Marie Darragh with daughter Charli Darragh-Matterson at St Andrew's nursing home in Ballina.
Suspected murder victim Marie Darragh with daughter Charli Darragh-Matterson at St Andrew's nursing home in Ballina.

ACCUSED murderer Megan Jean Haines's trial has heard a partially used vial of insulin went missing from the St Andrew's aged care centre around the same time two residents died.

Registered nurse Jillian Pringle, appearing by video link from Lismore, told Sydney Supreme Court she had labelled and moved a partly emptied insulin cartridge to a fridge in the centre's medication room because she "got fed up with seeing it on the bench".

"It stayed on a green tray on the bench, then I happened to be tidying up one day and I thought, 'He's not here, he's not going to need it, so I put it back in the fridge'," she said.

Ms Pringle said she put the vial, about one-third full, in a resealable bag with resident Ted Capewell's name on it and placed it on top of boxes of unused insulin in the fridge.

The court heard Ms Pringle worked at the centre on May 11, 2014, the day after residents Marie Darragh and Isabella Spencer died.

Nurse Dawn Thompson told her on that day Mr Capewell's insulin was missing.

Ms Pringle said she checked the fridge and confirmed it was not there.

Another registered nurse, Julie White, appeared in person at King St Courthouse in Sydney.

She testified she and police conducted a stocktake of drugs kept at the nursing home after the women died from suspected insulin overdose.

The jury was shown photos of the medication room near where both women lived.

Ms White said only three residents were prescribed insulin - all of the diabetes drug could be accounted for in one resident's case; for another there was the possible loss of two cartridges over a 15-month period.

She said the missing medication might be attributed to a cartridge being dropped or broken.

Insulin was not a controlled drug so stringent bookkeeping was not required by law, Ms White added.

"We weren't counting them so it wouldn't be documented anywhere that one was dropped," she said.

Ms White said the third resident, Mr Capewell, had recently returned from hospital and brought his own insulin to the centre when the audit was conducted.

She said staff did not know how many cartridges he brought with him, so checking his paperwork would not reveal how much, if any, was missing.

More witnesses are expected to give evidence in person and via video link from Lismore as the case continues.


Topics:  ballina court insulin isabella spencer jillian pringle marie darragh megan haines megan jean haines murder nursing home murders st andrew's

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

OPINION: How my coastal paradise became a warzone

RACQ Capricorn Rescue Helicopter Service returned to Gladstone to refuel after it found a missing yacht washed up on rocks west of Middle Island this morning.

Life after dark in this beachside suburb is not what you'd expect

Higher booze prices 'best way to combat abuse'

Should taxes be raised further on alcoholic drinks?

Report examines best ways to combat alcohol and violence

8800 complaints about water, energy bills in Queensland

Maree Skellern from Tweed Heads Kindy Care showing the dramatic changes in the latest power bill.

More than $320,000 in billing adjustments

Local Partners

All aboard for reno, new menu at Little Boat Espresso

Like your fish cured in Hendricks Gin with candied bacon kransky? This cafe is adding a night menu, local craft beer and cocktails.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Buy your own brothel: Scarlet Harem for sale

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The Coast's first brothel, Scarlet Harem at Kunda Park, is up for sale.

Coast brothel madam sells up

All aboard for reno, new menu at Little Boat Espresso

Owners of Marcoola café Little Boat Espresso plan to expand Little Boat Espresso to include late nights with a new liquor licence approved for next month.

Popular cafe undergoes renovations, adds night service

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June