Kathleen Folbigg case: Diaries, DNA and reasonable doubt: Did she kill her children?

It was not until March 2021 that a journal article co-written by the Canberra experts, among dozens of international authors, was published. They concluded that calmodulinopathy, a life-threatening arrhythmia syndrome, “emerges as a reasonable explanation for a natural cause” of death for the Folbigg girls.

A new inquiry, ordered in May 2022 and headed by former NSW chief justice Tom Bathurst, KC, is considering whether there is a reasonable doubt about Folbigg’s guilt in light of those developments.

No expert giving evidence before the inquiry has ruled out the possibility the variant caused the deaths of Sarah or Laura Folbigg. But they are sharply divided on whether it is likely.

The jury deliberated for eight hours after a seven-week trial in the Darlinghurst Supreme Court, an imposing sandstone building in inner-city Sydney, before finding Folbigg guilty on May 21, 2003, of the murder of three of her children and the manslaughter of her firstborn child.

The prosecution had emphasised the unlikelihood of four children from the same family dying of natural causes within a 10-year period. Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, KC, submitted to the jury: “It has never been recorded that the same person has been hit by lightning four times.”

Bathurst must weigh the evidence as a whole, including testimony yet to be heard about Folbigg’s diary entries. If there is reasonable doubt about Folbigg’s guilt, Bathurst may refer the case to the Court of Criminal Appeal to consider whether her convictions should be quashed.

On Monday, the words seemed to hang in the air when Bathurst asked counsel assisting the inquiry, Sophie Callan, SC, if “a reasonable hypothesis inconsistent with guilt” arose from the genetic evidence, viewed in isolation.

Callan paused.

“Yes, your honour,” she replied.

The inquiry continues next week.

Source:  Kathleen Folbigg case: Diaries, DNA and reasonable doubt: Did she kill her children?

One thought on “Kathleen Folbigg case: Diaries, DNA and reasonable doubt: Did she kill her children?”

  1. What happened to Kathleen was pernicious as there was absolutely NO evidence the children were murdered. Without any such evidence criminal charges should NEVER have been laid and there would have been NO ludicrous ad hoc trial. Shame on the disingenuous members of the legal profession who acted and/or continue to act against Kathleen.

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