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Friday, June 21, 2024

Appeal court acquits Kathleen Folbigg

Kathleen Folbigg, who served more than two decades behind bars after being convicted of the deaths of her four children, has this morning been acquitted by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.

The court quashed her convictions at a hearing today, with applause filling the court as she was told of her acquittal.

The 56-year-old, who was released from prison in June this year, was granted an unconditional pardon after an inquiry heard there was reasonable doubt about her guilt following new genetic discoveries about some of her children.

In a report released in November, inquiry commissioner Tom Bathurst KC found there was an “identifiable cause” for three of the deaths.

“While the verdicts at trial were reasonably open on the evidence available, there is now reasonable doubt as to Ms Folbigg’s guilt,” NSW Chief Justice Andrew Bell said.

“It is appropriate Ms Folbigg’s convictions … be quashed.”

Ms Folbigg was convicted in 2003 and sentenced to 40 years, which, following appeal, was reduced to a minimum 25 years, for the manslaughter of one child and the suffocation murders of her three other children – Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura, whose aged ranged from just 19 days to 18 months, died between 1989 and 1999.

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