AN EVIL mother who smothered her three children told cops she killed one of her twins first because she was "badly behaved", a court has heard.
Lauren Anne Dickason, 42, was charged with murdering her daughters Liane, aged six, and twins Maya and Karla, aged two.
Dickason, who is on trial in the High Court in Christchurch, New Zealand, has admitted to killing her children but denies it was murder.
Her defence claims she is not guilty by reason of insanity.
"I did the twins first… The first one was being really, really, really horrible to me lately," the mum explained, referring to Karla.
"She has been biting me and hitting me and scratching me and throwing tantrums 24 hours a day – and I just don't know how to manage that. That is why I did her first."
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The sisters were found dead at their home in Timaru on New Zealand's South Island on September 16, 2021, by their father Graham Dickason.
The surgeon had moved with his wife and daughters from Pretoria, South Africa, to start a new life just days before.
On the night of the alleged triple murder, the 42-year-old smothered the girls 20 minutes after her husband left for a work function.
On Tuesday, the jury watched a video of Dickason’s interview with police the day after the girls died.
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The recording showed the mother saying she had not "felt normal" for months before "something just snapped", the New Zealand Herald reported.
During the interview, she talked about the "overwhelming" move from South Africa to New Zealand and said how she had lost hope.
"I don't even know where to start… It just got too overwhelming – and with the new visa thing that came through yesterday I just see no hope for us here in the future," Dickason told cops.
"Just getting on the aeroplane was enough of an effort, there was so much paperwork to be done and then there was the two weeks in MIQ which almost had us crazy.
"Something just snapped last night."
She explained that the children were jumping on couches and not listening to her.
So she went to the garage, spotted some cable ties and thought, "That could possibly work".
In the interview, Dickason admitted she "had been thinking about it for sure," and put the three sisters in a room before using the cable ties on them.
That attempt was unsuccessful, however, so she suffocated them.
Detectives then heard that Dickason tucked each child into their beds, pulling the blankets over their heads fully aware that they were dead.
She said: "Then I decided I had to do something with myself… and I ran through the house and none of the knives were sharp and then I just started drinking my medication that I could find. I wanted to die."
Dickason explained that in the lead-up to the alleged triple murder, she had been getting only two hours of sleep a night, was losing many kilos due to stress and had not felt normal for around nine or 10 weeks before.
She went on to say that moving to New Zealand had only exacerbated issues.
The mother added that it was her "first day off" in four months, telling officers that after killing the girls she just climbed into bed with a hot water bottle and processed everything that had happened.
In the interview, Dickason explained that she been diagnosed with major depressive disorder in 2015, had post-natal depression after the birth of each daughter and was being medicated for years before stopping in early 2021.
She also admitted to having thoughts of harming her kids in the past and had told her husband on three occasions that she was scared as she had considered hurting their children.
The mother sat with her head in her hands as the interview recording was played in court.
Earlier in the trial, the jury heard Dickason had carried out several searches regarding how to overdose children and what the lethal or fatal qualities of specific drugs were.
Last week, Crown Prosecutor Andrew McRae alleged Dickason was an angry and frustrated woman, who resented her daughters for standing in the way of her relationship with her husband.
Mr McRae alleged the mother was fully aware of her actions and labelled the killings as methodical, purposeful and perhaps clinical.
The defence, however, argued that Dickason was "very unwell" and didn't recognise how unwell she was until it was "too late".
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The trial will resume on Wednesday and is expected to run for at least another two weeks.
Experts are also expected to speak on whether they believe the mother was insane.
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