Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Record
Daily Record
Katie Mansfield & Ryan Fahey & Jon Brady

Woman who denied killing her four children pardoned after 20 years behind bars

A woman who was branded Australia's worst female serial killer has been pardoned after spending 20 years behind bars for killing her four children, which she has always denied.

Kathleen Folbigg, 55, was convicted of murdering kids Patrick, Sarah and Laura, and the manslaughter of her first child Caleb, who all died between 1989 and 1999. The Mirror reports that she has continually maintained her innocence.

Following several appeals and inquiries an Australian judge has pardoned her. Recent finds from two Danish experts claimed her kids carried a genetic disease which caused heart irregularities; her lawyers had hoped to prove the children died of natural causes.

(L-R) Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura Folbigg all died (PA Images/composite)

New South Wales Attorney General Michael Daley said: "There is reasonable doubt for the guilt of Ms Folbigg for each of those offences." He advised Govenor Margaret Beazley to unconditionally pardon Folbigg.

Former justice Tom Bathurst, who conducted an inquiry into the conviction, advised last week that there was reasonable doubt about Miss Folbigg's guilt based on new scientific evidence. Miss Folbigg was serving a 30-year prison sentence, which would have expired in ten years time.

The children died separately over a decade, aged between 19 days and 19 months old, and their mother insisted their deaths were from natural causes. The latest inquiry was her last chance at getting out before her pending release date in 2028.

Danish professors Professors Mette Nyegaard and Michael Toft Overgaard say they found that the genetic condition's symptom of irregular heart rhythm could have caused the young children's death. During the initial trial, prosecutors used Miss Folbigg's handwritten diaries to convict her, claiming that they were admissions of guilt.

Miss Folbigg has always insisted she is innocent and had appealed for another inquiry after evidence emerged following an investigation in 2019. The previous inquiry upheld her conviction, but a 2019 report looked into the significance of the mutation, which was backed by 90 scientists calling for her to be pardoned.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - sign up to our daily newsletter here.

Read next:

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.