A woman in New Zealand has been convicted of murdering her three young children. The verdict was reached by a jury in the Christchurch High Court after a trial in which the defendant, Lauren Dickason, admitted to killing her 2-year-old twin daughters, Maya and Karla. She also confessed to killing their 6-year-old sister, Lianè. However, the mother pleaded not guilty to the girls’ murders.
Lauren’s husband, Graham Dickason, an orthopedic surgeon, claimed he was not present when the murders took place. He reportedly discovered the lifeless bodies of his daughters upon returning from a work dinner. Graham Dickason informed investigators that he was aware of his wife’s struggles with mental health after becoming a mother but never believed she was capable of physically harming their children. The family had also recently relocated to New Zealand from South Africa, seeking a fresh start away from the unrest in their home country.
Despite Lauren’s confession to the killings, she argued that she was not mentally stable at the time. This claim led to her not-guilty plea. However, prosecutors presented troubling evidence, such as phone messages and online search history, that suggested premeditated intent.
After four weeks of trial, the jury reached a conclusion. Lauren Dickason was found guilty of the murder of her three daughters. The jury’s decision was not unanimous, with an 11-1 vote in favor of conviction. Under New Zealand law, such a split verdict is permissible. The 42-year-old mother now faces a potential life sentence in prison for her heinous actions. As the verdict was delivered, Lauren was motionless. She began to weep softly as she was escorted out of the courtroom. Several jurors were also heard crying.
Detective Inspector Scott Anderson expressed condolences on behalf of the police department, acknowledging the tragic circumstances surrounding the case. He emphasized the loss suffered by the family, who will never have the opportunity to see their children grow up. Lauren’s parents, Malcolm and Wendy Fawkes, issued a statement urging families and individuals worldwide to be aware of the signs of postpartum depression.