Dr. Graham Dickason says his wife, Lauren, was a caregiver who would always make sure their little girls ate and were cleanly dressed. However, she was not a nurturing mother who would simply pick them up and caress them.
“Lauren struggled with motherhood.”
She was also not “in a good place” before the couple immigrated to New Zealand in 2021 with their three daughters, the two-year-old twins, Maya and Karla, and their six-year-old sister, Liané. One of the children tested positive for Covid-19 before the emigration and this put an enormous amount of stress on Lauren.
Graham testified on Tuesday – day two of Lauren’s murder trial – via audio-visual link from South Africa in his wife’s murder trial. The jury kicked off the day by watching a nearly three-hour video of Graham’s initial interview with New Zealand police – a day after the murders – reported NZ Herald.
Graham told the police during this interview that the family had stayed with his mother before the emigration. Lauren, an introvert, was particularly quiet and aloof during this time. However, she was in favor of emigration and sometimes even “driven” it.
“It’s always been her personality to stress about things and to expect things to go wrong and to worry about them before they go wrong.
“I’m the complete opposite. I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy who waits for things to go wrong. I don’t foresee problems; if something goes wrong, I sort it out, so we differ in that way.”
He told police officers that the couple had been married for 15 years and that he understood and supported her.
However, Graham also admits that especially the two-year-old twins, Maya and Karla, chose him over their mother, reports Stuff.co.za.
“I spent a lot of time at home the year and a half (before the murders) and she was struggling with motherhood… I think I compensated for that by giving the children everything they needed on a social level… she was always the hands-on carer.”
He tells that Lauren would often say she didn’t think she was a good mother. He would then reassure her.
He also told police that his wife had been through “a lot in her life”. Lauren was not popular at school and was never invited to school dances. Graham believes his wife carried it with her.
“She had a lot of traumatic social memories from childhood … but I never thought that those things would ever reach such a point that she would be capable of what happened today.”
Graham also told police officers that his wife had a miscarriage at 22 weeks and had to give birth to that baby. It was very traumatic for the couple.
“I just never thought she would be able to do something like that.
“If I had suspected that something like this could happen, I would never have even come here,” Graham says to police officers at one point in the video.
Meanwhile, Graham began testifying from South Africa in the High Court in Christchurch, New Zealand.
He told the court that after their arrival in New Zealand, Lauren had hoped that he would stay at home with his family for the first week. However, Graham had to go into his new workplace at Timaru Hospital for at least a few hours every day.
“She was not very pleased with that arrangement.”
Graham says Lauren was annoyed with him at that point.
RNews previously reported that Lauren, a South African doctor who is on trial in New Zealand for the murder of her three daughters, admitted that she killed the children in September 2021, but denied that it was murder. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her and claims in her defense that she was mentally ill during the murders and is not accountable.
Keep an eye on RNews for more on Graham Dickason’s testimony.
Sources: NZ Herald, stuff.co.za