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.

Helen is a dream weaver

HAT WEATHER: Visit Helen Stumkat at the Art Gallery Markets.

Helen's got art in her veins.

Lockyer Valley police honoured for taking down armed man

PROUD SERVICE: Acting Inspector Jamie Deacon awards local police (from front) Sergeant Glen Thomas and constables Peter O'Donnell, Mason Jago, Daniel Blewitt and Andrew McNab for their outstanding performance in arresting an armed man earlier this year.

Police honoured for dangerous mission

A new life off the race track

Lockyer Equestrian Group Club Championship champions (back from left) Sharyn Ross, Josh Dingle, Gary Jameison, Kate Turner, April Wain (front) Tannyth Shackell, Sophie Brennan, Cheryl Douyere and Lise' Leatherbarrow.

Lockyer riders claim dressage club championship

Local Partners

Udderly good news for our dairy farms

Dairy farmers are getting behind the Sustainable Queensland Dairy Production bill, calling for logos identifying to consumers where their milk is coming from.

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

Jake left broken-hearted by Bachelorette break-up

Jake Ellis is one of the final three bachelors on The Bachelorette.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and Matty J as her final two suitors.

MOVIE REVIEW: Doctor Strange is out there in a good way

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S new superhero takes viewers along on his mind trip.

MOVIE REVIEW: Jack Reacher sequel falls flat

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

THE film's title Never Go Back should serve as a warning to fans.

The Bachelor contestants find love with each other

Former Bachelor contestants Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon have confirmed their relationship on social media.

MEGAN Marx and Tiffany Scanlon confirm relationship on Instagram.

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

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