Wearing a loose-fitting beige sweater, Erin Patterson appeared in court in plain clothes on Thursday for the last time for the foreseeable future.
Instead, The 49-year-old will be forced to wear prison greens as she is taken to Victoria’s notorious Dame Phyllis Frost Center to await trial.
On Thursday, homicide detectives arrested Patterson at her home in Leongatha and charged her with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.
Patterson now faces months in custody, in a cold concrete cell, most likely isolated from the general prison population.
Mushroom chef Erin Patterson appeared in court Friday, peering out from behind her tortoiseshell glasses, hours after learning she was charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder. Court sketch by Anita Lester
On Friday, Patterson sat quietly in LaTrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court as her immediate fate was discussed.
The housewife had no choice but to smile and accept the news that she would not return to court until May next year.
Patterson was reserved as she looked at the action through her tortoiseshell glasses.
Behind the glass sat more than a dozen journalists, many of whom had knocked on her front door at some point in the past few months.
Patterson had no illusions that she was facing prison time.
Before the hearing began, her lawyer, Bill Doogue, informed her that he could not apply for bail at this time.
The veteran lawyer told Patterson he would advocate for her to be released on bail at a later date.
Erin Patterson’s next court date is scheduled for May 2024. During this period she could still apply for release on bail
Erin Patterson after meeting with her lawyers earlier this year
He faces an uphill battle as Victoria’s justice system sets an extremely high bar for releasing a person charged with offenses of this seriousness while awaiting trial.
Patterson reluctantly agreed to her detention – not that she had any say in it.
Judge Tim Walsh told Patterson he had no authority to even consider releasing her on bail.
That will be a decision by a Supreme Court justice when and if it comes to that.
Sitting between two burly prison guards Friday, Patterson glared at the media group as she was stood on her feet and shown the exit.
Bail hearing or no bail hearing, the next time you see her again she will be seen from the confines of a prison interview room, dressed in loose-fitting prison greens.