MAKO/File Online   -  # Kathleen Folbigg

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Name: KATHLEEN Megan FOLBIGG (Kathleen Folbigg)

Age: 46 yrs old (2013)

State: VICTORIA - Hunter Valley

Sentence: Folbigg was sentenced to a maximum of 40 years' jail in 2003 but the punishment was later reduced by 10 years on appeal.. Eligible for parole in 2028.

Offence/Other: Kathleen Folbigg/ Child Killer - Sentenced for murdering three of her children and the manslaughter of a fourth over a 10-year period from 1989.
She was also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to one of the children - Read more below.

Kathleen Folbigg

Kathleen Folbigg was convicted of killing four children and hopes judicial review will set her free

Kathleen Folbigg

First, Caleb Folbigg died at just 20 days old in 1989. Then it was Patrick at eight months in 1991, Sarah at 10 months in 1993 and, finally, Laura at 19 months in 1999.
Their mother, Kathleen Folbigg, is — depending on who you listen to — either Australia’s worst female serial killer, or an innocent woman who doesn’t deserve to be in jail.
According to the police, and a jury that convicted her of the crimes, she is calculating, evil killer who killed her four children by smothering them.
In 2003 she was found guilty of three counts of murder and one of manslaughter and was jailed for 40 years, reduced to 30 on appeal.
Prosecutors said Folbigg was unable to cope with caring for the children. She killed them in a rage and tried to cover it up by blaming natural causes.
But there are others who believe the jury heard flawed evidence, that she is innocent, and that there could be another explanation for the deaths of her children.
And they are doing everything they can to have her case reviewed In June, lawyer Shaun McCarthy from the Newcastle Legal Centre, working with Newcastle barristers Robert Cavanagh, Nicolas Moir and Isabel Reed, sent a petition to NSW Governor David Hurley.
Essentially the petition for judicial review suggests too much weight was placed on Folbigg’s diary entries and the medical evidence relied upon at trial was faulty in regard to what is now known about sudden infant deaths syndrome (SIDS).
It also highlights there was no physical evidence the children had been murdered.
A spokesman for NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton told news.com.au: “I am advised a petition has been made to the Governor and advice is being sought.” He wouldn’t, however, provide a timeline for when a decision could be expected.
At the time the review was being prepared, Monash University professor of forensic pathology Stephen Cordner told the ABC: “If the convictions in this case are to stand, I want to clearly state there is no pathological or medical basis for concluding homicide. It seems not to have been explicitly stated in the trial, but there is no forensic pathology evidence, no signs in or on the bodies to positively suggest that the Folbigg children were smothered or killed by any means.”
Kathleen Folbigg was convicted of murder and manslaughter of her four children in 2003.

These were crucial in the prosecution case against Folbigg.
In one entry about Laura, she wrote she was “scared she’ll leave me like Sarah”. And then: “I knew I was short tempered and cruel sometimes to her and she left — with a bit of help.”
Writing about one child, she said she just wished she would “shut up” and then after she died said “one day she did”.
In an entry, about the death of Sarah, Folbigg wrote “even though I’m responsible, it’s all right”.
Perhaps most chillingly, she made direct reference to her father, who murdered her mother when Folbigg was a baby herself.
“Obviously, I’m my father’s daughter,” she wrote.
Supporters argue the diary entries simply record a grief-stricken mother and, in that context, the reactions aren’t that unusual.
Another important point was she never attempted to conceal the writing — the question being if they were admissions of guilt in any way, why didn’t she hide them?

The murder trial was told of how improbable it was that four children from the same family would die of SIDS.
But since then a prominent United Kingdom professor of mathematics, Ray Hill, has questioned whether the jury was ‘‘misled’’ about the probability of multiple deaths in the same family.
In fact, there is precedent for such deaths to occur, as revealed by a major US study, which highlighted two families it had happened to.
That study also found that a family that has lost a child to SIDS was 10 times more likely to become victims again. None of these studies were raised during the Supreme Court trial.
Professor Cordner, writing in a damning 120-page report, considered much of the forensic evidence flawed, which led to murder being the only logical conclusion as to what happened to the children, reported the Newcastle Herald.
‘‘It seems not to have been explicitly stated in the trial, but there is no forensic pathology evidence, no signs in or on the bodies, to positively suggest that the Folbigg children were smothered, or killed by any means,’’ Professor Cordner said in his report.

With an appeal in 2005 against her convictions having already been dismissed, Folbigg’s only hope rests on whether the judicial review into her case is accepted.
If it isn’t, she will be behind bars for many years to come and will always be branded as the killer of her own four children.

www.news.com.au (27-9-2015)

MAKO/Files Online.. Listing Australian Convicted Paedophiles/ Sex Offenders/ Child Killers.. FREE Public Service..

Baby killer Folbigg loses retrial bid

Convicted child killer Kathleen Folbigg has lost her appeal for a retrial. The Court of Criminal Appeal found "amateur sleuthing" by a juror did not prejudice the trial.
Kathleen Folbigg has lost an appeal for a retrial over the murders of three of her babies and the manslaughter of a fourth, after it was discovered a juror had found out the woman's father had killed her mother.
The 40-year-old from the New South Wales Hunter Valley is serving a 30-year jail term for killing her babies between 1989 and 1999.
The appeal for a retrial was brought after it was discovered the juror found out about the killing of Folbigg's mother on the internet, in what her lawyers called a "very prejudicial" act of "amateur sleuthing".
Justices Peter McClellan, Carolyn Simpson and Virginia Bell of the Court of Criminal Appeal found that although irregularities had occurred, they were satisfied that they were not prejudicial.
They ruled no substantial miscarriage of justice had actually occurred.
Folbigg was sentenced to a maximum of 40 years' jail in 2003 but the punishment was later reduced by 10 years on appeal.

www.abc.net.au (21-12-2007)

Sentence Cut To Promote Rehabilitation

NEW South Wales woman Kathleen Folbigg, convicted of killing her four children, had her maximum sentence reduced by 10 years today because a court said the crushing jail term would destroy her chances of rehabilitation.
But the 37-year-old's lawyer said his client, who was not present at the appeal decision, maintained her innocence and was disappointed her conviction appeal had been dismissed. Folbigg, from the Hunter Valley, was sentenced in 2003 to 40 years jail with a non-parole period of 30 years for murdering three of her children and the manslaughter of a fourth over a 10-year period from 1989.
She was also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to one of the children.
The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal ruled today that sentence was too harsh.
The court reduced her maximum sentence by 10 years and her non-parole period by five years.
"The prospect that they offer the appellant is so crushingly discouraging as to put at risk any incentive she might have to apply herself to her rehabilitation," Justice Brian Sully said in the judgment.
Outside the court, Folbigg's lawyer Peter Krisenthall welcomed the reduced sentence but said he was still disappointed she had not won her appeal against conviction.
"The sentence appeal may have been allowed but she is adamant that she didn't commit these offences and 25 years is a long time if you're not guilty of an offence," he said.
In May 2003, a Supreme Court jury found Folbigg murdered her children Patrick, Sarah and Laura – aged between eight and 19 months – between 1991 and 1999 in Newcastle and Singleton.
She was also found guilty of the manslaughter of her first child Caleb, who was just 19 days old when he died in Newcastle in 1989.
Folbigg claimed all four children died of natural causes.
But Justice Sully today said Folbigg's diary entries, admitted in evidence against her during her trial, suggested the deaths were anything but tragic coincidences.
"The picture painted by the diaries was one which gave terrible credibility and persuasion to the inference, suggested by the overwhelming weight of the medical evidence, that the five incidents had been anything but extraordinary coincidences unrelated to acts done by the appellant," he said.
Folbigg's counsel, David Jackson, QC, argued during her appeal that expert medical witnesses should not have been able to give evidence that three or four deaths of children from natural causes in one family was unprecedented just because they had not come across it.
Mr Jackson also told the appeal hearing his client was a "greatly tormented woman" who had been abused as a child and discovered at the age of 18 that her father had murdered her mother.
Folbigg will now be eligible for parole in 2028.

AAP (17-2-2005)
Kylie Williams

Folbigg Plea On Sentence

CHILD killer Kathleen Megan Folbigg has appealed against a verdict that she killed her four babies and the severity of her 40-year jail sentence for the crime.
The Singleton mother was sentenced last year to 30 years non parole for the manslaughter of 19-day-old Caleb and the murder of Patrick, eight months, Sarah, 11 months and 19-month-old Laura, between 1989 and 1999.
In Sydney's Criminal Court of Appeal yesterday, Folbigg's lawyer David Jackson, QC argued his client's punishment was too severe.
It was so high in our submission that the community would be outraged by it." Mr Jackson said- Justice Brian Sully agreed the accumulation of the sentence was "unusual", but Crown Prosecutor Michael Sexton, SC said Folbigg would still have a chance of life after jail.
Justice Sully said for a woman aged 36, serving 30 years in jail was "perilously close to a life sentence".
"We all know what's going to happen in 30 years when it suddenly dawns on someone that she is due to be released," Justice Sully said.
"It will be the subject of lopsided public comment and the poor woman may find herself incarcerated for the full 40 years because it's too difficult to release her," he said.
Mr Jackson argued against the guilty verdict because Folbigg should have been allowed separate trials for each child's death and claimed the evidence of the other deaths was inadmissible.
Mr Jackson said the expert medical evidence regarding the statistics of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome was distracting for the jury in a very sensitive area of the case.
Folbigg continues to deny smothering her babies to death but this was not raised.
The three-judge bench reserved its decision.

The Herald (27-11-2004)

Haunted By The Wife Who Killed Their Four Children
Kathleen Folbigg

Kathleen Folbigg

CHILD killer Kathleen Folbigg's former husband Craig has remarried and is dreaming of starting a family again.
But the shadow of his ex- wife still looms over his life, with her appeal against the convictions for smothering their four children to be heard in the court of Criminal Appeal on Friday.
Even Mr Folbigg's wedding did not escape the taint of tragedy, his chronically ill father John died on the night before the service.
Mr Folbigg's brother Michael said: "Our dad had been ill for a long time.
"That's why he didn't come to the trial."
Sick with renal failure, be eventually chose to stop treatment.
"We had a family meeting," Michael Folbigg said. "It was a pretty righteous decision and we had to respect that.
"He died on April 30 and Craig got married on May 1. Dad said don't change a thing, just be happy for me."
Mr Folbigg, 42, married long-time partner Helen Pearce at a service in Singleton and then held a reception for family and friends in Maitland.
The couple went on a honeymoon in New Zealand before returning to the Singleton home that Mr Folbigg had shared with Kathleen, and where their fourth child, Laura, was murdered.
On Friday, Folbigg, 37, will appeal against the convictions for the manslaughter of baby son Caleb in 1990 and the murder of Patrick, Sarah and Laura between 1991 and 1996.
She was sentenced to 40 years' jail with a non-parole period of 30 years after a six- week trial last year.
Since the trial she has been in an isolation cell at Mulawa women's prison at Silverwater after receiving death threats from other inmates.
In letters from her cell, Folbigg described herself as "the most hated woman alive".
Meanwhile, Mr Folbigg, a car salesman, has tried to rebuild his shattered life with Ms Pearce, a licensed conveyancer. He has refused to talk about his children publicly and has turned down substantial financial offers for his story from television stations and women's magazines.
"Craig is a fairly private person and it is even difficult for us to get inside him," Michael Folbigg said.
"Craig and Helen have been looking at blocks of land," he said. "They are looking to set up a new home outside Singleton and get on with their lives.
"There is no sign of a baby yet but it's certainty not out of the question.
"So many people have kids and don't deserve it. Craig certainly does.
"When be does have kids he will be the proudest dad alive. When you have kids later on in life it will affect your ability to do things with your children and your grandchildren.
"Craig would have been three or four years away from having grandkids.
"That has been taken away from him.
"He is looking at being 61 before he can have grandkids."
Since the trial Mr Folbigg has not heard from the woman who took his children from him.
"He knows where she is but he certainty does not want to hear from her," Michael Folbigg said.

The Sun Herald (21-11-2004)
Matthew Benns

The Most Hated Woman Alive

LIFE has moved on since Kathleen Folbigg collapsed, sobbing, in the dock with the words "guilty" ringing in her ears. The four children she killed are commemorated with a simple plaque in Singleton Anglican Church and her ex-husband Craig has remarried. Her boyfriend has had another failed relationship, the policeman who brought her to justice has been commended and promoted, and Major Joyce Banner, the Salvation Army carer who held her hand throughout the six-week trial last year, has retired. Even Folbigg's cat has died.
But while those whose lives she changed forever attempt to mow on, for Folbigg, life has stopped. Her daily routine seldom varies. She is surrounded in Silverwater's Mulawa women's prison by inmates who want her dead. She achieved international notoriety as details of the murder of her children were revealed in court. No one who heard what had happened was unmoved.
In a letter from her cell to her foster sister Lea Bown she has described herself as "the most hated woman alive'. She is not wrong. Forensic psychologist Pan Tsomis has interviewed a string of inmates from Mulawa in the past year and says they "all complain about Kathleen Fotbigg". For two hours each day the entire prison is shut down, every inmate locked up, while Folbigg takes her exercise. Resentment simmers.
"Mulawa is really the bottom of the barrel for Kathleen," says Tsomis. "The people who are treated worse by the other prisoners are the rock spiders, people who have hurt children. A prisoner who killed a rock spider would be a princess in prison and would be looked after for the rest of her sentence."
Folbigg does not move from her cell without a prison warder on each side and one protecting her from an attack from behind.
"There is not one prisoner I have interviewed who does not want to kill Kathleen," says Tsomis. "Many of these women in prison were abused as children themselves. They despise anyone who kills a defenceless child."
Folbigg did not kill one defenceless child - she smothered four in 10 years. First was Caleb. The baby lived for only l9 days. His brother Patrick survived one attack with brain damage but was murdered at eight months. Baby Sarah lived 11 months and Laura, the last to be born, lived for 19 months. Their mother was found guilty of the manslaughter of Caleb and the murders of the other three. She was sentenced to 40 years in jail with a non-parole period of 30 years.
On Friday Fdbigg, represented by a legal aid team, will appeal against her conviction and sentence. The Sun-Herald understands part of the legal basis for the appeal will be the suggestion that each death should have been tried separately. It will be an unwelcome return to court for her family. Her former husband has married property lawyer Helen Pearce and is looking to build a new home and start a family. He has refused numerous offers from television stations and women's magazines to sell his story.
Folbigg's foster sister who betrayed her sister by allowing their phone calls to be recorded by police as the case was compiled, has been in poor health due to the strain. The trial took an enormous toll. She Started a public campaign to draw attention to the way in which children's deaths are investigated.
"It is all in the past now" Bown says. "I don't give her a second thought anymore. It's finished." All contact between the Melbourne grandmother and Folbigg has been severed.
One of the few people who has kept in contact with Folbigg is her former flatmate Kylie, who lived with her in Singleton before the trial. "I visited her in April and she was in bright spirts. She had finally accepted where she was - although she was still obviously looking forward to the appeal. I also had a couple of letters from her. She's been doing a few courses to keep herself busy. She was studying a language the last time I heard.
"As for her friends, well, she's still getting the odd visit but people move on I guess and visits, I know, have certainty become less and less frequent. She's still writing to one or two people ....I know one friend of hers who received a really nasty letter- but that's Kath....I guess you've got to know her."
Kylie says Folbigg's former boyfriend Tony Lambkin, who promised to remain faithful during her appeal, has had a new relationship. "Tony appears to have moved on now. I don't think he's been in touch with her at all."
Lambkin, a Hunter Valley builder, says he has attempted to get on with his life since Folbigg was sentenced. "I had a girifnend for a while but things just didn't work out." He says he still cares for Folbigg. "She was a major part of my life but what can you do? I haven't had contact with her for some time now and I won't be making it down for her appeal hearing because I'm too busy with work and stuff."
One man who will be following the appeal very closely will be the policeman who brought Folbigg to justice, Bernie Ryan. He was a detective senior constable when he was called in to investigate the sudden death of Laura in Singleton in 1999. When he heard that three other children were believed to have died from sudden infant death syndrome, his suspicions were aroused.
Ignoring expert advice that the children had died from natural causes, the dogged policeman-who has since been promoted to detective inspector -put his career on the line and fought for four years to win justice for the Folbigg children. The breakthrough came from Folbigg's. own diaries, in which she revealed her frustration and torment at being a mother. In one entry about Laura in December 1997, she wrote: "Must cry to release my stress somehow. I'm starting to take it our on her. Bad move. Bad things and thoughts happen when that happens. It will never happen again." The diary entries were read at her trial and had a damning effect.
In receipt of a Commissioner's Commendation, Ryan, now stationed in Goulburn, is considered an expert in mysterious infant deaths.
At Folbiggs sentencing, psychiatric reports offered insight into her actions. She had been dreadfully abused as a child. Her drunken father had killed her mother and she only began to find some kind of peace when she joined her foster family. But by then the damage had been done.
She learnt to deal with death and loss of attachment to those she loved at a very early age. It is a skill she has not lost. As she awaited trial, Folbigg took her beloved cat Boof to her friend Kylie so she could care for turn. Defiantly she declared she would be back from Sydney one day to collect him.
The cat fell ill and Kylie had to have him put down. "I put it off for a couple of months before I told her the news," says Kylie. How did Folbigg deal with the loss? "Kathy moves on pretty quickly, it wasn't an issue."

- When The Bough Breaks- The True Story Of Child Killer- Kathleen Folbigg- by Matthew Benns is published by Random House.

The Sun Herald (21-11-2004)
Matthew Benns/ Eamonn Duff

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