Publication date: Wednesday, 22 August 2018
On my recommendation, His Excellency the Governor has directed an inquiry into the convictions of Ms Kathleen Megan Folbigg. The Governor has appointed the former Chief Judge of the District Court, the Hon Reginald Blanch AM QC, to conduct the inquiry.
In 2003 Ms Folbigg was convicted of the homicides of her children Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura following a trial by jury. On appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeal imposed a total sentence of 30 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 25 years.
After carefully considering Ms Folbigg’s petition and taking extensive advice, I have formed the view that an inquiry into Ms Folbigg’s convictions is necessary to ensure public confidence in the administration of justice. Today’s decision is not based on any assessment of Ms Folbigg’s guilt.
The petition appears to raise a doubt or question concerning evidence as to the incidence of reported deaths of three or more infants in the same family attributed to unidentified natural causes in the proceedings leading to Ms Folbigg’s convictions. The direction establishing the inquiry requires Mr Blanch to have particular regard to this evidence in conducting the inquiry.
I have spoken with Mr Craig Folbigg to explain this immensely difficult decision. I am sorry for the renewed distress and pain he and his family will endure because of the inquiry.
I have asked the Commissioner of Victims Rights, Ms Mahashini Krishna, to offer support to family members throughout the forthcoming inquiry.
I thank the Crown Advocate, Dr David Kell SC, Ms Wendy Abraham QC, Mr Nicholas Kelly, and the Crown Solicitor, Ms Lea Armstrong, for their advice and assistance in this matter.
Ms Folbigg continues to serve her sentence of imprisonment. At the conclusion of the inquiry, Mr Blanch will prepare a report. If of the opinion that there is a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of Ms Folbigg, Mr Blanch may refer the matter to the Court of Criminal Appeal for further consideration.
As this matter is now the subject of an inquiry, I do not propose to make any further comment.
will be made available on the Inquiry’s website at www.folbigginquiry.justice.nsw.gov.au