STANDING accused of three murders and five accounts of attempted murder, the now infamous Erin Patterson told the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court last Monday (April 22) she wished for her trial to stay within Gippsland.

The 49-year-old mother at the centre of the Leongatha mushroom poisoning case attended the local trial through video link, sitting in the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, formerly the Deer Park Metropolitan Women’s Correctional Centre, a maximum security women’s prison located in Deer Park.

With Patterson’s legal team arguing the case should remain in courts close to the community where the alleged offence had been committed. Magistrate Tim Walsh opposed because of the delay.

It is understood that Magistrate Walsh said Patterson’s serious charges were unlikely to get a listing in the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court before the end of the year, in what is expected to be a three-week committal hearing testing the evidence against her.

Despite the delay and limited resources available to the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court, Ms Patterson’s legal team said she would rather stay in custody for longer than see a fast-tracked trial in Melbourne.

Spotlight: Erin Patterson is charged with three counts of murder relating to the deaths of Don and Gail Patterson and Heather Wilkinson, and five counts of attempted murder: one relating to Ian Wilkinson, and four relating to ex-husband Simon Patterson. Photograph supplied

The Herald Sun reported that Magistrate Walsh said he would further consider whether the committal hearing should be sent to Melbourne for an earlier date.

“I understand your client seems to be content but the delay seems to be getting a bit out there,” he said.

It is understood several witnesses in the trial will come from the local area.

The charges against Patterson relate to a lunch, one weekend in July, 2023 in the town of Leongatha, where a group of people fell gravely ill.

When three of them died and one was left struggling for their life from what appeared to be mushroom poisoning, their Beef Wellington made headlines across the globe. Since then, three allegations of murder and five counts of attempted murder have been brought against Patterson, the lady at the core of the infamous death cap mushroom lunch.

Patterson’s in-laws Don and Gail Patterson and Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson died from the poisoning, while Ian Wilkinson survived.

Patterson’s alleged crimes stretch back to the fallout of her marriage to Simon Patterson in 2020, with Erin allegedly attempting to murder him for the first time in 2021.

ABC reported the accused triple murderer wore a blue jumper and glasses as she listened to the courts proceedings, not saying much other than acknowledging she could hear and see the court.

Magistrate Walsh adjourned the case for two weeks.

Patterson’s case will return to the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on May 7 for a further committal hearing.