-  # Keli Lane
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35 yrs old (2011)
Sentenced 15-4-2011, in the NSW Supreme Court, to 18 yrs jail - 13 yrs and 5 months non parole.
Keli Lane - Child Killer..Convicted in April 2011 of murdering her baby daughter, Tegan in 1996.
Keli Lane case: The bizarre timeline before Tegan vanished
Lane appeal against baby murder conviction
Keli Lane has always said she gave her two-day-old baby Tegan to the infant's biological father.
But as part of an appeal against the 38-year-old's murder conviction, her legal team says the option of
manslaughter should have been open to the jury.
Keli Lane, whose once bleached-blonde hair is now brown, displayed little emotion during the one-day
hearing at the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Tuesday.
Dressed in a pink and black blouse, the former waterpolo player and teacher gestured from the dock
to her long-term boyfriend Patrick Cogan, her mother Sandra Lane and her father, retired policeman Robert Lane.
Among the reporters and court enthusiasts who also filled the gallery was Department of Community Services
(DoCS) worker John Borovnik who first flagged Tegan's disappearance with an adoption agency in 1999.
The crown says that three years earlier - on September 14, 1996 - Lane killed Tegan after leaving
Auburn Hospital with the newborn.
She then went to her parents' home before attending a wedding later that afternoon.
Lane, by contrast, has always maintained she gave Tegan to the infant's father, with
whom she had a brief affair and who she said was called Andrew Norris or Morris.
Police investigations have failed to uncover either the father or the daughter.
She is now appealing her conviction on eight grounds, including that an alternative count
of manslaughter should have been open to the jury.
In arguing the case, barrister Winston Terracini SC said the crown could not prove how Tegan
died or that Lane had any intention to kill the newborn.
"She (Tegan) could have been placed in a bag ... and died as a result of gross negligence," he submitted.
"There are a whole range of incidents that end in an unlawful killing but fall short of an intention to kill."
But Justice Carolyn Simpson observed that Lane had had two terminations as a teenager and kept three pregnancies
and births secret from family and friends.
Tegan was the middle child of the three secret babies, with the other two infants adopted out.
"You couldn't draw an inference of manslaughter from a history of determinations not to keep a child," she said.
Acting for the crown Jennie Girdham SC said the defence case throughout the trial was always "murder or nothing"
and that the appeal ground meant Lane's case had "taken on a new complexion".
While she accepted that the crown's case was highly circumstantial, she says when the evidence was
taken as a whole the jury came to the conclusion that Lane killed Tegan and did so with "murderous intent".
If Lane had hypothetically left the child to die somewhere, she argued this would also be akin to murder.
Chief Justice Tim Bathurst, Justice Simpson and Justice Christine Adamson have reserved their decision on the appeal.
Lane was sentenced to a minimum of 13 years and five months and a maximum of 18 for Tegan's murder.
If her appeal is unsuccessful her earliest release date is in May 2024.
Keli Lane's murder appeal dates set
Convicted baby killer Keli Lane will have her appeal heard over two days in July.
Lane, who was in 2010 found guilty of murdering her baby Tegan, was denied bail at a hearing late last month.
At that hearing in the NSW Supreme Court, the grounds of her appeal were set out by her legal team,
led by prominent Sydney silk Winston Terracini.
Mr Terracini argued the jury should have been instructed that manslaughter and infanticide were alternate charges to murder.
But the Crown said the possibility of a manslaughter verdict was never raised by Lane's trial barrister, Keith Chappell, SC.
At a brief mention in the Court of Criminal Appeal on Thursday, registrar Michael Crompton confirmed the appeal hearing dates of July 23 and 24.
Keli Lane to appeal baby murder conviction
Former elite water polo player Keli Lane, who was jailed for murdering her newborn baby, is set to appeal
her conviction in a two-day hearing in July.
Lane, 37, was sentenced in 2011 to at least 13 years and five months in jail for the 1996 murder of her two-day-old daughter Tegan.
During a brief mention at the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Thursday, Lane's challenge to this conviction was set down for
hearing on July 23 and 24.
Lane made an unsuccessful bail application in the NSW Supreme Court last month, pending the appeal.
During the brief bail hearing, her barrister, Winston Terracini SC, relied on two of their eight appeal grounds.
The first was that an alternative count of manslaughter should have been open to the jury as there was no evidence "of
infliction of any harm with any intent".
The second was that crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC had reversed the onus of proof by posing questions to the jury
during his closing address.
But Justice Clifton Hoeben said he was unable to find that both the grounds of appeal were "most likely to succeed".
The 37-year-old has steadfastly maintained she handed Tegan over to the infant's father, with whom she'd had a brief affair.
Lane had two terminations as a teenager and had kept three pregnancies and births secret from family and friends, adopting out two children.
The crown contends she murdered Tegan because a child would have interfered with her sporting, sex and social life.
Lane was sentenced to a maximum of 18 years, with her earliest release date set for May 2024.
Baby killer Keli Lane refused bail ahead of appeal
Convicted baby killer Keli Lane has lost a bail application ahead of her appeal in the New South Wales Supreme Court.
Lane's appeal against her conviction for murdering her newborn baby Tegan includes the ground that the jury should have been directed to reach a verdict on an alternate charge of manslaughter.
The baby was last seen leaving Auburn Hospital two days after being born in September 1996.
In 2011 Lane was convicted of Tegan's murder and jailed for at least 13 years and five months, with a maximum sentence of 18 years.
The 37-year-old former champion water polo player will be eligible for parole in May 2023.
During her trial in 2010, the jury heard Lane had five secret pregnancies, including two terminations and two children she adopted out.
Lane has always maintained her innocence, saying she gave Tegan to the child's biological father, a man called Andrew Norris or Morris, with whom she had a brief and secret affair.
Neither the man nor Tegan have ever been found.
When the jury found Lane guilty of murder after a week of deliberations, there were dramatic scenes in court when she fainted and an ambulance was called.
In sentencing, Justice Anthony Whealy said she murdered Tegan "in a situation of desperation" and felt that she could not turn to people close to her for help.
Justice Whealy also said the case was "a tragedy involving mother and daughter" and that the life of a defenceless baby had been taken.
Lane was not in court for her bail application this morning but appeared via video link from a Sydney jail.
She was dressed in prison greens with her once-blonde hair now dark and pulled back in a tight bun.
Lane also appeared to have lost weight since she last appeared in court.
Her parents Sandra and Robert and her boyfriend Patrick Cogan were in the public gallery.
Lane's barrister Winston Terracini SC argued for her to be granted bail ahead of her appeal hearing.
He told the court the evidence used to convict her was circumstantial and he also criticised the conduct of Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi.
But Justice Clifton Hoeben refused the bail application, saying he will give his reasons at noon tomorrow.
On the video screen, Lane sat with her head in her hands as the decision was read out.
Her appeal will be heard in July.
Keli Lane to appeal murder charge
A former water polo champion jailed for killing her newborn baby is appealing her conviction.
Keli Lane was sentenced last year to at least 13 years and five months behind bars for murdering
her second baby, Tegan, on September 14, 1996.
On Friday, Lane's solicitor Ben Archbold lodged appeal papers at the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney.
Mr Archbold told reporters outside court there were eight grounds on which Lane's conviction would
be appealed, including that the trial judge failed to leave open an alternative count of manslaughter
to the jury.
He said it would also be contended that the crown prosecutor had reversed the onus of proof in his
closing address, which was prejudicial to the trial.
"We believe that those eight grounds, that she'll be successful on one or maybe a few of them," he said.
Mr Archbold said he had just been to see Lane, who was confident about the appeal, describing it as
"a bit of good Christmas news for her".
"Kelly's confident because she hasn't done anything wrong, she really
does maintain her innocence," Mr Archbold said.
Lane continued to enjoy the support of her boyfriend and family while in
prison, he added.
Mr Archbold said he would also seek bail for Lane, and he hoped an
application would be heard early in 2013.
Prominent Sydney barrister Winston Terracini QC had been engaged to
run the appeal, Mr Archbold said.
Jailhouse bashings as appeal bid nears
Convicted baby killer Keli Lane's need for a successful appeal against her murder
conviction has been heightened by attacks and bashings she has suffered in jail.
The former champion water polo player and Olympic hopeful was last year sentenced
to a maximum of 18 years in jail for murdering her two-day-old daughter Tegan in September
1996 - her appeal should come before the Court of Criminal Appeal within a year.
Lane, who maintains Tegan was given to her natural father, was found guilty of
murder by a Supreme Court jury in December, 2010, following a three-month trial.
She immediately indicated her intention to appeal the conviction.
The Daily Telegraph understands Lane has been subjected to at least one
vicious bashing inside the Silverwater Women's Correctional Centre, which
left her with facial injuries, and has spent time in protective custody.
The Crown case was that Lane secretly left Auburn Hospital with Tegan and
murdered her in the few hours before she attended a wedding on the northern beaches.
The Sydney Olympic Park site, then a construction zone in 1996, was suggested
to the jury as a possible murder scene.
Experienced defence barrister Winston Terracini SC is expected to
act for Lane in the appeal, which will be heard before a full bench.
A notice of intention to appeal is still before the Supreme Court.
Lane's appeal is hotly anticipated in the wake of Gordon Wood and Jeffrey Gilham's recent acquittals.
Wood and Gilham both had their murder convictions overturned this year, with the
Appeal Court judges slamming the prosecution in those cases.
It is expected Lane's appeal will also focus on the handling of the prosecution case.
Justice Anthony Whealy ruled during the trial that the Crown couldn't rely on lies
Lane had told as "consciousness of her guilt" - but the Court of Criminal Appeal
subsequently decided the evidence was "admissible as evidence of guilt".
The 37-year-old will also have the opportunity to apply for bail once the
appeal grounds have been lodged with the court.
She is currently not eligible for parole until 2024.
If Lane is to be released on bail and her appeal fails, the time spent outside
jail will be added to her non-parole period.
Justice Whealy said the former private school teacher embarked on a "many-layered
web of deception" in keeping five pregnancies a secret from her family, friends and partners.
But he said the "tragic irony" of Lane's crime was that the sentence would take her away from
the child she openly gave birth to in 2001.
Her mother, Sandra Lane, told the court during sentencing submissions
that the child had lost "sparkle" since Lane's imprisonment and "asks every day when Keli is coming home".
Keli Lane gets 18 years for murdering baby Tegan, plans appeal
Keli Lane has defiantly resolved to appeal her conviction after a judge today sentenced her to at least 13 years and five months' jail for the murder of her baby daughter Tegan in 1996.
Before a packed Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Whealy today sentenced Lane to a total sentence of 18 years, finding she had murdered Tegan when she "could see no way out".
He said the crime was selfish and premeditated, but only for a very short time prior to the killing.
Lane remained unmoved as the sentence was handed down.
The crime arose, Justice Whealy said, "from a sense of isolation and a perceived inability to connect with the very people who would have eased her burden and helped her out of the desperate situation in which she found herself".
Remaining defiant, Lane is now understood to be focused on appealing her conviction.
Her solicitor Ben Archbold told The Daily Telegraph he had been instructed to lodge an appeal on Monday.
Lane was found guilty by a jury in December last year of the murder of two-day old Tegan in September 1996.
While Lane maintains her innocence, Tegan has not been seen since the pair were discharged from Auburn hospital.
Three hours later, Lane attended a family friend's wedding with her then-boyfriend Duncan Gillies - with no sign of the infant.
A newly dark-haired Lane - supported by family and friends - became emotional at times through the sentencing remarks.
Lane kissed her mother goodbye and told her she was "okay" as she was led from the court.
Her 13-year and 5 month minimum sentence has begun.
Follow court reporter Lisa Davies' live Twitter feed on the sentencing here.
In a hushed court, Justice Whealy spoke of Keli being a "golden girl" who was also "a troubled young woman".
She was described by hospital staff as "normal for a woman who had recently given birth" after Tegan born, the judge said.
The evidence was "completely silent as to what happened" after Lane left hospital with Tegan.
Justice Whealy said he was bound by the verdict of the jury, which found beyond reasonable doubt that Keli Lane deliberately and intentionally caused Tegan's death.
Justice Whealy said Keli Lane "clearly knew the nature of her actions and was able to discern right from wrong".
And he agreed with psychiatric assessment that Keli Lane's repeated pregnancies were an attempt to "have the baby she couldn't have".
Justice Whealy said Lane's behaviour was "virtually inexplicable" - although her life had been "laid bare" by the media.
He also criticised DoCS worker John Borovnik as a witness for inflating his own importance in the case.
The judge has rejected the Crown's claim that Keli Lane killed her child to attend a wedding, saying the murder was committed when she "could see no way out".
He said she had "nowhere to turn" and her irrationality and "complexities of her personality" led to her killing baby Tegan.
Lane's act of murder had been premeditated but only for a short time, done as an act of desperation.
The judge said she presented "no danger to the community ... no risk of reoffending", however she must face a lengthy jail term.
Two aggravating features of the murder were the age of the victim, and the fact that it had been an abuse of a position of trust.
"The life that has been taken is a baby, completely defenceless,'' Justice Whealy said.
He noted the tragic fact that, for whatever reason, Lane could not tell her own mother of the secret birth of her three children.
"Secondly, it is a tragedy between mother and daughter in the sense that the offender disposed of her second child Tegan, and in so doing, tore asunder the natural relationship between mother and daughter," he said.
"That fact has, and will, continue to haunt throughout her life.''
The Daily Telegraph (15-4-2011)
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