Kathleen Folbigg: Woman released from prison following infant deaths
After new information suggested that a mother who had formerly been dubbed “Australia’s worst female serial killer” had not murdered her four infant children, she was pardoned.
A jury concluded that Kathleen Folbigg killed Caleb, Patrick, Sarah, and Laura during a 10-year period, and she was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
But a recent investigation found that scientists think they might have passed away naturally.
One of Australia’s worst instances of injustice has been characterized as having occurred in the case of the 55-year-old.
Ms. Folbigg, who has consistently maintained her innocence, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2003 for the manslaughter of her first son, Caleb, and the murder of three of her children.
Each child died unexpectedly between 1989 and 1999, ranging in age from 19 days to 19 months. At her trial, the prosecution claimed she had smothered the children.
Previous appeals and a subsequent investigation into the matter in 2019 determined there was no reasonable basis for doubt and gave circumstantial evidence in Ms. Folbigg’s initial trial more weight.
However, prosecutors acknowledged that studies on gene mutations had altered their view of the children’s deaths at the new inquest, led by retired judge Tom Bathurst.
Attorney General of New South Wales (NSW), Michael Daley, stated on Monday that Mr. Bathurst had reached the “firm view” that Ms. Folbigg’s guilt for each offense was questionable.
The NSW governor subsequently approved a full pardon and mandated Ms. Folbigg’s immediate release from custody.
“For her, it has been a 20-year battle. If she isn’t already out, she definitely will be shortly. I wish her peace,” Mr. Daley said, adding that the father of the children, Craig Folbigg, was also on his mind.
According to Mr. Daley, Ms. Folbigg’s convictions remain valid despite the unconditional pardon. If Mr. Bathurst decides to refer the case to the Court of Criminal Appeal, that would be their decision to make.
A team of immunologists discovered that Ms. Folbigg’s daughters had a genetic abnormality that can result in sudden cardiac death, which ignited a years-long battle to release her.
There was also proof that Ms. Folbigg’s sons had a separate genetic abnormality that was connected to mice’s sudden-onset epilepsy.