Following on from an explosive two episode feature on Australia Story NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman has yielded to the pressure to re-open the case on the deaths of the four babies alleged to have been killed by their mother Kathleen Folbigg. Folbigg has always protested her innocence.
Folbigg was convicted of the murders of her children between 1989 and 1999. Her children were between the ages of 19 days and a little under two years of age. She was sentenced to forty-years imprisonment that was reduced to 30 years on appeal.
Since her incarceration there have been a number of appeals to have her case reheard, including an appeal by talkback radio host Alan Jones who told The Guardian, “The petition appears to raise a doubt or question concerning the evidence as to the incidence of reported deaths of three or more infants in the same family attributed to unidentified natural causes in the proceedings leading to Ms Folbigg’s convictions.” All of the appeals failed until now.
Speakman has appointed Reginald Blanch a former NSW District Court Chief Justice to oversee the inquiry. The investigation will likely take between 6 and 12 months. In a press release Speakman said, “I have formed the view that an inquiry into Ms Folbigg’s convictions is necessary to ensure public confidence in the administration of justice.”
The Australian Story piece delved deeply into the evidence not presented at trial. One of Australia’s leading forensic pathologists, Professor Stephen Cordner was brought in to examine the evidence, and believes there is reasonable doubt. His report stated that “there is no positive forensic pathology support for the contention that any or all of these children have been killed.”
Folbigg’s former husband Craig has been told of the new inquiry and claimed to find it “immensely difficult.”