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Kathleen Folbigg: Mother jailed for killing her four children has convictions quashed | World News


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A woman who spent 20 years in jail for killing her four children has had her convictions officially quashed.

Kathleen Folbigg was convicted in 2003 of murdering three of her children, and of manslaughter in the death of her fourth between 1989 and 1999 in New South Wales, Australia.

She was pardoned in June after evidence proving her innocence came to light but has now had the convictions officially expunged by the state.

Her lawyer now says she is preparing to claim “substantial” compensation.

Folbigg maintained her innocence and said the children had died of natural causes over a decade, from 1989 to 1999.

In 2019, an initial inquiry into the case reaffirmed her guilt, but in 2022, a second inquiry found new evidence suggesting two of the children had a genetic mutation that may have caused their deaths.

Folbigg was released from prison in June this year after being pardoned.

“I am grateful that updated science and genetics has given me answers as to how my children died,” an emotional Folbigg told reporters outside a criminal appeals court in Sydney.

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“However, even in 1999, we had legal answers to prove my innocence. They were ignored. And dismissed,” she said.

“The system preferred to blame me rather than accept that sometimes, children can and do die suddenly, unexpectedly, and heartbreakingly.”

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Folbigg’s lawyer, Rhanee Rego, said her legal team was preparing a claim for “substantial” compensation for her wrongful imprisonment.

“I’m not prepared to put a figure it, but it will be bigger than any substantial payment that has been made before,” she said.

Kathleen Folbigg walks into the New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney. A jury on May 21, 2003 found Folbigg, 35, guilty of murdering three of her four children, guilty of the manslaughter of one of her other children, and guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm on another just months before his death. The murders occurred between 1991 and 1999. Picture taken May 19, 2003. REUTERS/David Gray DG/FA
Folbigg in 2003

The case, which relied predominantly on circumstantial evidence, caused controversy among scientists and statisticians, some of whom were part of the campaign to secure Folbigg’s release.

“Although there was new scientific evidence (in 2019) …basic scientific principles were not adhered to from the time of
trial,” said Anna-Maria Arabia, chief executive of the Australian Academy of Science.

“Make no mistake, without law reform, these sorts of miscarriages of justice will continue.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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