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HomeWorld NewsKathleen Folbigg, Australia's worst female serial killer, acquitted after 20-year-long battle

Kathleen Folbigg, Australia’s worst female serial killer, acquitted after 20-year-long battle

A woman dubbed Australia’s ‘worst female serial killer’ was acquitted by a New South Wales court on Thursday after spending 20 years in prison for the deaths of her four children. Kathleen Folbigg was pardoned by the state government and released from prison in June this year, Reuters reported.

On Thursday, the New South Wales Supreme Court said the evidence relied upon to send Folbigg to jail was “not credible”. Her lawyer said she would seek compensation from the New South Wales government.

Folbigg was convicted in 2003 Of killing three of his children, and of killing his fourth child. However, Folbigg claimed that she was innocent and that her children – Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura – died of natural causes between 1989–1999.

In 2019, the preliminary investigation upheld Folbigg’s guilt. However, a subsequent investigation led by a former Chief Justice in 2022 revealed new evidence indicating that two of the children may have had a genetic mutation that may have led to their death.

According to Reuters, Folbigg expressed gratitude for the updated scientific findings that shed light on the causes of his children’s deaths.

The investigating commissioner, Tom Bathurst, concluded that the three deaths had an “identifiable cause”, and that the relationship between Folbigg and her children did not support claims that she had killed them.

Bathurst suggested that Patrick’s death was probably caused by a neurogenetic disorder, while there was a “reasonable” possibility that Sarah and Laura’s deaths could be linked to the genetic mutation, CALM2-G114R, which they shared with their mother. Was.

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The case relied primarily on circumstantial evidence, sparking controversy among scientists and statisticians, some of whom advocated Folbigg’s release.

Former Chief Justice of NSW Bathurst highlighted Folbigg’s controversial use of diary entries during his trial, thereby securing his conviction. According to The Guardian report, Folbigg said that prosecutors had “cherrypicked” phrases from his journals, and that his personal views were taken out of context and used against him.

Addressing the media, Folbigg said that there were legal answers to prove his innocence in 1999 but they were “ignored and dismissed”. “The system preferred to blame me rather than accept that sometimes, children can and do die suddenly, unexpectedly and heartbreakingly,” she said.

His lawyer Renee Rego confirmed preparing a claim for ‘substantial’ compensation due to wrongful imprisonment. Rego avoided giving the exact figure but indicated it would be higher than previous compensation.

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