Child murderer Kathleen Folbigg could walk FREE if court sitting today decides to throw out a special report finding she killed her four babies
- Kathleen Folbigg jailed in 2003 for at least 25 years for killing her four children
- Folbigg, who has already served 18 years, lost three appeals against conviction
- Justice John Basten will deliver the court’s judgment on Wednesday morning
Kathleen Folbigg, jailed for killing her four children, will learn on Wednesday if a former senior judge was right to conclude her guilt was ‘even more certain’ following a special review.
Former NSW District Court chief judge Reginald Blanch QC in 2019 found significant investigations had failed to find a reasonable natural explanation for any of the deaths of Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura, who all died before their second birthday in the decade to 1999.
Folbigg’s own explanations and behaviour in respect of her diaries, which weren’t available in any of the mother’s criminal appeals, made ‘her guilt of these offences even more certain’, Mr Blanch concluded.
Kathleen Folbigg, jailed for killing her four children, will learn on Wednesday if a former senior judge was right to conclude her guilt was ‘even more certain’ following a special review
Folbigg, who has already served 18 of a minimum 25-year jail term, lost three appeals against conviction, including one in the High Court in the mid-2000s
She was also found guilty of the manslaughter of her first child, Caleb (left), who was 19 days old when he died in Newcastle in 1989. Patrick Folbigg pictured right
But the jailed woman challenged the conclusions in the NSW Court of Appeal, claiming Mr Blanch had failed in the obligation to conduct an inquiry about the potential for the deaths to have been natural.
Justice John Basten, one of three judges to hear the two-day appeal in February, is due to deliver the court’s judgment on Wednesday morning.
Folbigg’s lawyer said there was evidence that Caleb potentially died in 1989 of a floppy larynx – undermining Mr Blanch’s conclusion that there was no identifiable natural cause of Caleb’s death.
Jeremy Morris SC also suggested Folbigg’s contemporaneous diaries had only been read from the perspective the mother was guilty.
Folbigg, who has already served 18 of a minimum 25-year jail term, lost three appeals against conviction, including one in the High Court in the mid-2000s.
Folbigg was jailed in 2003 for at least 25 years for murdering her children Patrick, Sarah (right) and Laura (left) – aged from eight months to 19 months – between 1991 and 1999
Folbigg’s supporters say Sarah, Laura and their mother share a genetic mutation that has been linked to sudden deaths in young children – a theory Mr Blanch concluded didn’t raise reasonable doubt.
Three weeks ago, a group of prominent scientists put their name to a petition calling for a pardon and Folbigg’s immediate release, saying the genetic data was compelling evidence she did not kill her children.
The list of 90 scientists included Australian Academy of Science president John Shine, epidemiologist Professor Fiona Stanley, Nobel laureate Professor Peter Doherty and former chief scientist Professor Ian Chubb.
A TIMELINE OF MAJOR EVENTS IN KATHLEEN FOLBIGG’S LIFE
* JUNE 14, 1967 – Kathleen Megan Donovan (later Folbigg) born
* JANUARY 8, 1969 – Folbigg’s mother murdered by her father
* 1987 – Kathleen marries Craig Folbigg
* FEBRUARY 20, 1989 – Caleb Folbigg dies aged 19 days
* FEBRUARY 13, 1991 – Patrick Folbigg dies aged eight months
* AUGUST 30, 1993 – Sarah Folbigg dies aged 10 months
* MARCH 1, 1999 – Laura Folbigg dies, aged 18 months
* OCTOBER 24, 2003 – Folbigg sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder, non-parole period is 30 years, later reduced on appeal to 25 years
* JUNE 10, 2015 – NSW Governor David Hurley receives petition for review of convictions based on forensic pathology findings
* OCTOBER 28, 2018 – Inquiry into convictions opens
* MAY 2019 – An international medical registry reports that two US children have died of the mutation found in Sarah and Laura
* JULY 2019 – Inquiry finds no reasonable doubt to Folbigg’s convictions. Validation of Folbigg mutation could not be completed before end of inquiry
* NOVEMBER 17, 2020 – Likely role of CALM2 mutation in Sarah and Laura’s death confirmed in world leading study
* MARCH 3, 2021 – Petition for Folbigg pardon sent to NSW Governor Margaret Beazley