Fresh twist in case of convicted baby killer Kathleen Folbigg as it’s revealed she’s won ANOTHER right to appeal her infancide conviction after killing her four children
- Kathleen Folbigg jailed in 2003 for at least 25 years for killing her four children
- Folbigg launched legal action against the inquiry’s chief Reginald Oliver Blanch
- She alleged he acted with ‘apprehended bias’ against her, while making errors
- The girls had a genetic mutation which had likely been deadly, scientists said
Australia’s worst female serial killer Kathleen Folbigg has won another right to appeal for her freedom, arguing a former judge who reviewed her case did not ‘come to grips’ with evidence that she claims proves her innocence.
Folbigg was jailed in 2003 for at least 25 years for murdering her children Patrick, Sarah and Laura – aged from eight months to 19 months – between 1991 and 1999.
She was also found guilty of the manslaughter of her first-born child, Caleb, who was just 19 days old when he died in Newcastle in 1989.
Folbigg, 53, has maintained her innocence, claiming all four children died of natural causes.
Australia’s worst female serial killer Kathleen Folbigg has won another right to appeal for her freedom, arguing a former judge who reviewed her case did not ‘come to grips’ with evidence that she claims proves her innocence
Serial killer Kathleen Folbigg broke down in tears while talking about the deaths of her four children during an inquiry in April 2019
Former NSW District Court chief judge Reginald Blanch QC in 2019 found the evidence presented to a judicial inquiry reinforced her guilt and he had no reasonable doubt about it.
But Folbigg applied to the Supreme Court for a judicial review of the inquiry, claiming she was denied procedural fairness and accused Mr Blanch of apprehended bias.
She alleged that he acted with ‘apprehended bias’ against her, while making mistakes in his findings.
Justice John Basten on Thursday transferred her application to the Court of Appeal and fixed the hearing for four days beginning on February 15 , 2021.
Folbigg has made a string of complaints about the way Mr Blanch conducted the inquiry, including that he allowed her to be questioned by her former husband’s barrister, and that he failed to give adequate reasons for his findings.
She has tried, and failed, twice to overturn her conviction through appeals.
Mr Blanch’s report said ‘the only conclusion reasonably open is that somebody intentionally caused harm to the children, and smothering was the obvious method’.
The Crown’s case was simply that Folbigg smothered her four children including Patrick (bottom left), Caleb (bottom right), Laura (top left) and Sarah (top right)
‘The evidence pointed to no person other than Ms Folbigg,’ the report stated.
Justice Basten said Folbigg’s application for a review of Mr Blanch’s inquiry had been listed for hearing before a Supreme Court judge.
‘It is not a trial at first instance; it is the review of what has already been a lengthy Inquiry, resulting in a report which has similar effects to a judgment at first instance,’ Justice Basten said.
‘The witnesses have been heard and their evidence has been assessed; inferences have been drawn and detailed reasons provided.
But recent amendments to the relevant law meant a review of a decision of a former judge was to be conducted by the Court of Appeal.
John Folbigg – the brother of Craig, who’s the father of the four babies – previously described the first inquiry as ‘most unnecessary and most definitely unwelcome’.
Folbigg was jailed in 2003 for at least 25 years for murdering her children Patrick, Sarah and Laura – aged from eight months to 19 months – between 1991 and 1999. Pictured in 2003
In a peer-reviewed study published in August, researchers in Australia, Canada, the United States, France, Italy and Denmark said a never-seen-before genetic mutation in the two girls’ DNA had likely been deadly.
The Danish scientists said the mutation, called CALM2 G114R, had been inherited from Folbigg.
They said Caleb and Patrick had another genetic mutation which too could have led to their deaths.
The CALM2 mutation causes a condition called ‘Calmodulinopathy’ which can cause sudden cardiac death in very young children, the paper’s lead scientist said.
They said the boys’ mutated genes had two different copies which caused lethal epilepsy in mice in cases where they were faulty.
Folbigg will be eligible for parole in 2028.
KATHLEEN FOLBIGG: TIMELINE OF A KILLER
June 14, 1967 – Kathleen Folbigg is born.
January 8, 1969 – Folbigg’s father, Thomas John Britton, murdered her mother by stabbing her 24 times. Folbigg was made a ward of the state and place into foster care.
1982 – Folbigg left school at the age of 18.
1987 – Folbigg married Craig Folbigg.
February 1, 1989 – Caleb Folbigg is born.
February 20, 1989 – Folbigg put Caleb to sleep in a room next to her bedroom. She later found him dead in his bed.
June 3, 1990 – Patrick Folbigg is born.
October 18, 1990 – Kathleen Folbigg put Patrick to bed before Craig woke to sounds of his wife screaming. Patrick was taken to hospital and diagnosed with epliepsy and blindness.
February 18, 1991 – Folbigg called her husband at work to tell him Patrick had died, saying: ‘It’s happened again!’
October 14, 1992 – Sarah Folbigg is born.
August 29, 1993 – Sarah died.
1996 – The Folbiggs move from Maitland, New South Wales to Singleton in the Hunter Region.
August 7, 1997 – Laura Folbigg was born.
February 27, 1999 – Laura died.
May 21, 2003 – Kathleen Folbigg was found guilty of murder and manslaughter and later sentenced to 40 years in prison.
February 17, 2005 – Court reduces her sentence to 30 years with a non-parole period of 25 years.
August 22, 2018 – NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman announced there would be an inquiry into Folbigg’s convictions.
April 29, 2019 – The inquiry begins in Lidcombe, Sydney.