Kathleen Folbigg given chance to explain ‘damning’ diaries at inquiry
Serial killer Kathleen Folbigg will be allowed to give evidence in an inquiry about the “damning” diaries that helped secure her 2003 conviction for the murder of three of her children and the manslaughter of a fourth.
She is serving a 30-year sentence with a non-parole period of 25 years in Silverwater Jail, but an inquiry into her conviction will be held in March.
The inquiry was announced by NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman earlier this year, and came after petition drafted by a Newcastle legal team which argued that some of the medical evidence against Folbigg used during the trial was flawed.
Renewed interest in the case has also been generated by the ABC’s Australian Story program.
In the program, Folbigg spoke for the first time about her conviction and the diary entries that were instrumental in securing the jury’s guilty verdict.
One of Folbigg’s lawyers, Jeremy Morris SC, today told a directions hearing ahead of the inquiry that the diary evidence should be reviewed.
“The diary, in combination with the medical evidence was damning,” he said.
Kathleen Folbigg’s diary was a crucial piece of evidence in her 2003 conviction. (AAP: Dean Lewins)
Argument over DNA
The directions hearing heard Folbigg’s former husband Craig had refused an approach by her legal team to submit a DNA sample.
He has complained about the manner of the approach to the Commissioner for Victims’ Rights.
Mr Folbigg has not refused to provide a DNA sample to the inquiry itself.
Justice Reginald Blanch, who is presiding over the inquiry, said genetic evidence was important as it could overturn Folbigg’s conviction.
But he said it would be “highly desirable” if Folbigg’s solicitor did not make any further approach.
Ms Folbigg has already supplied a DNA sample.
Her testimony would follow evidence from expert witnesses when the inquiry begins.
During her 2003 trial, the court heard her children Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura were all smothered by Folbigg during fits of rage.
Folbigg has exhausted all her avenues of appeal, but the case could be referred to the Court of Criminal Appeal if the inquiry finds reasonable doubt around her convictions.
She must advise whether she will give evidence at the inquiry by next Thursday.