A statement given to police by the woman who prepared a deadly mushroom dinner that left three people dead may not be used as evidence if the case goes to court.
Homicide investigators received Erin Patterson’s statement giving her version of events, but the document was never signed, the release said Herald Sunwhich makes it inadmissible in any legal proceedings.
Heather Wilkinson, 66, her sister Gail Patterson and brother-in-law Don Patterson, both 70, all died after eating beef Wellington at Ms Patterson’s home in Leongatha, southeast Victoria, on July 29.
Ms Wilkinson’s husband, Ian Wilkinson, 68, was the only person to survive the meal. He became seriously ill and spent almost two months in the hospital.
Ms Patterson’s lawyer provided her statement to Victoria Police and the media back in August.
Erin Patterson (pictured) has reportedly not signed a statement regarding her version of events at a deadly mushroom dinner that left three people dead
Neither Victoria Police nor Ms Patterson’s lawyers have confirmed whether the document was signed or not.
“Unless they put pen to paper, it’s not a statement.” “An unsigned statement is not evidence,” said an unnamed defense attorney.
Defense lawyer George Balot claimed the unsigned document meant Ms Patterson “did not swear to the matters contained therein”.
“The statement is, on its face, documentary hearsay, I think,” he told the publication.
He added that it was “very unusual” that Ms. Patterson’s lawyer made the statement before she was interviewed or charged.
A police source said an unsigned statement could result in the content being less consequential.
Daily Mail Australia does not allege Ms Patterson is in any way responsible for the deaths or poisonings.
Heather Wilkinson (pictured left), 66, her sister Gail Patterson and brother-in-law Don Patterson, both 70, all died after eating Wellington beef at Ms Patterson’s home in Leongatha. Mr Wilkinson (pictured right) was the only person to survive the meal
Ms Patterson claimed she bought the dried mushrooms she used in her Beef Wellington from Asian grocers in Mount Waverley (pictured a death cap).
Meanwhile, the sole survivor of a deadly mushroom dinner is believed to be co-operating with police after making an impressive public display at his wife’s memorial.
Pastor Ian Wilkinson mourned his late wife on Wednesday in his first public appearance since his illness.
The Baptist church pastor returned home Sept. 22, where he continues to receive help from in-home caregivers.
After eight weeks in hospital, Mr Wilkinson looked slimmer and paler than in the one photo media organizations had published of him since news of the tragedy spread.
Uniformed police guarded Mr. Wilkinson, who stood talking to well-wishers for more than an hour after his wife’s memorial service.
Ian Wilkinson is seen at the memorial service for his wife Heather on Wednesday
Undercover officers were expected to be among the mourners as Erin Patterson was waiting to make an appearance, but one failed to materialize.
One by one, Mr Wilkinson hugged and shared stories with a line of friends, family and community members as they wound their way back to the Korumburra Indoor Recreation Center where the service had taken place.
Wearing a black mask, Mr. Wilkinson showed no fear of illness as he continued to mingle with the more than 300 people who attended his wife’s memorial service.
Although his strength was failing, Mr. Wilkinson sat back on the stool of his walker and continued to chat with anyone who wanted to talk to him.
Hours earlier, Mr Wilkinson had bravely faced a media pack and walked straight through the leisure center’s front door, past a horde of reporters and cameras.