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Erin Patterson has swapped her comfortable life as a property heiress and country mum for one as a cellmate in one of Australia’s most notorious women’s prisons.

From this weekend, the new inmate of Victoria’s Dame Phyllis Frost Center can expect to rub shoulders with some of Australia’s most evil women.

Prisoners at the 600-capacity jail include ‘Black Widow’ serial killer Robyn Lindholm, gangland matriarch and killer Judy Moran and violent ‘tiny terrorist’ Momena Shoma.
Ms Patterson – who was charged on Thursday with three counts of murder stemming from the death cap mushroom beef Wellington lunch she hosted at her home in Leongatha, Victoria, on July 29 – is being held there as she awaits trial.
The prosecutor against her as an alleged poisoner with multiple victims – Erin Patterson is also charged with five counts of attempted murder by poisoning – are likely to follow her into the prison where cruel nicknames abound.

One of Ms Patterson’s complaints in the wake of the deaths of her husband’s parents and aunt was that she had been unfairly branded an ‘evil witch’.

The 49-year-old former accountant and rural newspaper editor will be locked up on remand for at least five months until she goes on trial for the three alleged murders and five counts of attempted murder.

She will go through an induction process at the prison tonight or this weekend following a Friday court appearance after her formal charging by detectives, which came after her arrest on Thursday.

After handling her ‘civvies’, she will be strip searched and scanned and have her mugshot taken. She will also be measured, weighed and handed a set of prison greens, the tracksuit uniform of prisoners in the Dame Phyllis Frost complex.
She will be assigned a prison number and a cell, most likely in the protection wing of the prison given the notoriety of her case.

This would be in one of two special cell blocks housing 20 prisoners, where inmates who have a history of violence towards other prisoners or guards are segregated.

One such prisoner was Momena Shoma, the Bangladeshi Islamic State fanatic who has continued her violence behind bars.

Erin Patterson’s Age

Erin Patterson’s Age is 49 years old.

Life in jail as she awaits trial over death cap mushroom beef Wellington lunch

Shoma, jailed for a maximum of 42 years for stabbing in the neck of a Melbourne homestay host in 2018, attacked a female inmate with garden shears.

She had another six years added to her sentence in 2021 and declared: ‘I’m proud of myself.’

Veronica Marie Nelson died alone in her Dame Phyllis Frost prison cell in January 2020, after at least 49 recorded pleas for help were ignored by prison officers.

Earlier this year, an investigation found there had been a cover-up of the gross negligence and discrimination which had contributed to Ms Nelson’s death.

The prison has also been the home of crime matriarch Judy Moran, who was found guilty of murdering her brother-in-law Desmond Moran and sentenced in 2011 to 26 years’ prison, with a minimum of 21.
Moran had been married to crime boss Lewis Moran and the mother of killers Jason and Mark Moran – all of whom were killed during Melbourne’s infamous gangland war.

Judy Moran lived in a disability unit inside a special section of the prison.

Also among the prison’s alumni is former stripper and ‘Black Widow’ serial killer Robyn Lindholm, who was jailed in 2013 for 25 years over the murder of her lover.

Lindholm was sentenced to even more jail time after being found guilty of another brutal murder in 2019.

Erin Patterson can also expect to run into murderer Biannca Edmunds, who just last month was sentenced to 26 years behind bars over the brutal murder of her ex-partner.

The Dame Phyllis Frost Center also contains a room that no inmates dare sleep in, because it is where a newborn baby died.

Baby A ‘was just 12 days old when she died in the arms of her mother inside the jail’s dedicated’ Mothers and Children Units in 2018.
While awaiting trial, Ms Patterson will be entitled to receive visits from her two children, who are aged in their early teens, and from any other family members or friends.

Any of those people may apply to have telephone contact as approved persons on Ms Patterson’s list to speak with in brief weekly calls.

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Victoria’s largest women’s correctional facility will be Ms Patterson’s home until she is either acquitted or convicted.

Court documents revealed that Ms Patterson has been charged with trying to murder her husband, Simon Patterson, on four separate occasions.

These were allegedly between 16 and 17 November 2021, between 25 and 27 May 2022, on 6 September 2022 and at the mushroom lunch at her Leongatha home in Gippsland, Victoria in July 2023.

Ms Patterson is also charged with murdering Heather Wilkinson, and Heather’s sister Gail Patterson and her husband, Don Patterson, who are Simon Patterson’s parents.

She also allegedly attempted to murder Pastor Ian Wilkinson at that lunch.

At LaTrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court, Ms Patterson did not apply for bail and the court heard police will take 20 weeks to put together a brief.


If she makes a bail application at any point for release pending her trial, Ms Patterson must prove to the court why she is not a risk to the community.