An elderly woman accused of killing her son at a home in Melbourne's north-east has told a magistrate that she was too ill to attend court.
- Ms Heddergott is being treated at the Austin Hospital after being charged on Thursday
- The 81-year-old is accused of killing her son sometime between November 14-16
- The woman's lawyer told the court she had mental health issues and may be sent to a secure mental health facility
Erica Heddergott, 81, today appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court charged with the murder of her 50-year-old son, William Charles Heddergott,
Ms Heddergott spoke on the phone from the Austin Hospital after being charged on Thursday night.
"Yes hello, I'm holding the phone at the moment," Ms Heddergott told the magistrate.
"I'm ill, I can't come to court," she said.
Police accuse the 81-year-old of killing her son at a home on Palmyra Court in Greensborough between November 14 and 16 this year.
Her lawyer, Charles Nikakis, told Magistrate Mia Stylianou that his client will stay in hospital for the time being.
"It seems that she'll remain there for some time, until an ultimate decision is made [about] where she's best accommodated," Mr Nikakis said.
"Physically, she's not injured. The mental health issues are the issues that are being explored," he said.
He told the court that his client might have to be accommodated at Thomas Embling Hospital, which is a secure mental health facility.
"It's her first time in custody and it's the first time she's had any contact with any police or the courts," he said.
Magistrate Stylianou: "Does she understand the nature of these proceedings?"
Mr Nikakis: "She understands enough to know that she was charged overnight."
Magistrate Stylianou: "And the victim appears to be related to her?
Mr Nikakis: "He was. He was her son."
Ms Heddergott will return to court in March next year.