Suspected mushroom poisoning: Erin Patterson also charged with attempting to murder ex husband four separate times

Patterson (49) has been charged with murdering three people and attempting to murder another following a lunch of beef wellington at her home

The woman at the centre of a mushroom lunch that allegedly killed three people and left a fourth fighting for his life is also accused of attempting to murder her former partner four times over the past two years, according to Australian court documents.

Erin Patterson (49) has been charged with murdering Gail and Don Patterson, both 70, and Gail’s sister, Heather Wilkinson (66) after a lunch in her home in the rural Australian town of Leongatha on July 29th.

Court documents also state she is also charged with four counts of the attempted murder of her former partner, Simon Patterson, including on the day of the fatal lunch. He was not present for that meal.

Ms Patterson (49), appeared before Latrobe Valley magistrates court, in Victoria’s south-east, on Friday. She has previously denied wrongdoing.


Dressed in a grey jumper, and accompanied by security guards, she glanced at the media throng as she entered the dock and stared straight ahead during the hearing.

Ms Patterson said “good morning” when greeted by the magistrate, Tim Walsh, but otherwise appeared emotionless. She shook her head when Mr Walsh asked whether her street address should be redacted from the police charge sheet.

“I think they’ve all been there, your honour,” her lawyer, Bill Doogue, said in reference to the media.

A committal mention hearing has been set for May 3rd, 2024, the court heard.

Mr Walsh told Ms Patterson he wanted to ensure the matter “progresses through the system as quickly as reasonably possible rather than having you languish for too long”.

The court heard police had sought a 20-week adjournment in order to analyse computer equipment seized at Ms Patterson’s Leongatha home during a property search on Thursday. The defence agreed to the delay.

Mr Walsh expressed frustration about the length of time requested, citing the fact that police had already felt confident enough in the case to charge her with a “triple murder”.

No application for bail was made and Ms Patterson was remanded in custody.

Gail and Don Patterson – the parents of Ms Patterson’s former husband – and Ms Wilkinson died in hospital after eating beef wellington at lunch. Ms Wilkinson’s husband, Ian Wilkinson, is still recovering after spending almost two months in hospital receiving treatment.

According to police documents filed in court, Ms Patterson is accused of attempting to murder her former partner in November 2021, in May 2022, on September 6th, 2022 and onJuly 29th last.

Police allege Ms Patterson also attempted to murder Ian Wilkinson on July 29th.

Ms Patterson previously said she was “devastated to think that these mushrooms may have contributed to the illness suffered by my loved ones”, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She said she had “no reason to hurt these people, whom I loved”.

Victoria police confirmed on Thursday that homicide squad detectives had arrested Ms Patterson. She was interviewed by police at Wonthaggi police station after police searched her Leongatha home, where the fatal meal was served.

Det Insp Dean Thomas said the investigation had been incredibly complex.

“Over the last three months, this investigation has been subjected to incredibly intense levels of public scrutiny and curiosity. I cannot think of another investigation that has generated this level of media and public interest, not only here in Victoria but also nationally and internationally,” he said.

“I think it is particularly important that we keep in mind that at the heart of this, three people have lost their lives. These are three people who by all accounts were much beloved in their communities and are greatly missed by their loved ones.” – Guardian