Kathleen Folbigg’s conviction to be scrutinised by new inquiry

Anton NilssonNCA NewsWire
NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the new evidence could not be ignored. NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles
Camera IconNSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the new evidence could not be ignored. NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles Credit: News Corp Australia

Child killer Kathleen Folbigg will have another chance at freedom after the NSW Attorney-General recommended a new inquiry look into her conviction.

Folbigg’s advocates say it's possible she was unfairly convicted of the killings of her four children.

They have pointed to new scientific evidence related to the genetic mutation CALM2 that was found in two of the children.

“Notwithstanding that Ms Folbigg has already had numerous attempts to clear her name, this new evidence, and its widespread endorsement by scientists, cannot be ignored,” Attorney-General Mark Speakman said on Wednesday.

Mr Speakman said the new evidence was enough to trigger the inquiry.

However, it will be up to the person appointed to lead it, retired chief justice Thomas Bathurst, to decide what happens next.

NSW BUDGET ESTIMATES
Camera IconNSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the new evidence could not be ignored. NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles Credit: News Corp Australia

“At the conclusion of the inquiry, Mr Bathurst will prepare a report,” Mr Speakman said.

“If he is of the opinion there is reasonable doubt as to Ms Folbigg‘s guilt, Mr Bathurst may refer the matter to the Court of Criminal Appeal for further consideration.”

Folbigg is serving a 30-year jail term for killing her four children, who were aged between 19 days and 18 months when they died in separate incidents between February 1989 and March 1999.

LIFE AND TIMES OF KATHLEEN FOLBIGG

She was convicted in 2003 of murdering her babies Patrick, Sarah and Laura and of the manslaughter of her 19-day-old son Caleb.

Diary entries in which she expressed guilt and anguish over her children’s deaths and her frustrations and struggles with parenting were a key plank of the prosecution case.

Mr Speakman said he stopped short of recommending Ms Folbigg be pardoned because he believed the best way to reach a “just resolution” would be airing the new evidence in public.

The new inquiry will be the second one ordered by Mr Speakman.

The previous one, in 2019, concluded the inquiry had reinforced her guilt.

Originally published as Kathleen Folbigg’s conviction to be scrutinised by new inquiry

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