Nurse arrested over Ballina nursing home deaths

A 46-year-old nurse will appear in court on Tuesday in relation to the deaths of two elderly women and an assault on a third at a Ballina nursing home.

Victorian police arrested the woman in Seaspray, Victoria, 240 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, about 11am on Monday, with warrants issued last week by the NSW Police Force’s Homicide Squad.

The woman had been employed as a nurse at the St Andrew's Village nursing home in Ballina.

On May 10, Isobella Spencer, 77, and Marie Darragh, 82, were found unconscious in their beds by staff at the home. The two were pronounced dead before emergency services arrived. Another 88-year-old woman survived an attack that night.

When the accused woman appears in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday, NSW Homicide Squad detectives will apply for her extradition to Sydney.

Last month Homicide squad commander Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said police had a “fairly good idea” of how the nursing home residents had been killed.

"Given the circumstances that these deaths occured under, common sense would dictate that we are looking at the actions of nursing-home staff," Detective Superintendent Willing said.

The chief executive at St Andrew's, Pip Carter, has described Ms Spencer and Ms Darragh as "lovely ladies".

"I think [Marie] used to sing a little bit," he said. "She was an outgoing lady and she was a very happy lady. [Isobella] was a different personality but a lovely lady, too."

The story Nurse arrested over Ballina nursing home deaths first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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