Mixed reaction in Australian after woman convicted of killing her own children gets pardoned – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Mixed reaction in Australian after woman convicted of killing her own children gets pardoned

Image source: RTE

An Australian mother jailed for killing her four young children has been pardoned after 20 years behind bars after an inquest overturned the high-profile case.

Kathleen Folbigg has been dubbed “Australia’s worst female serial killer” after being found guilty of murdering three of her children and manslaughter of a fourth in 2003, reports RTE.

Prosecutors argued that she suffocated the children who died between nine weeks and three years old, but Folbigg was adamant that each death was from natural causes.

In 2021, dozens of Australian and overseas scientists signed a petition calling for Folbigg’s release. They said new forensic evidence suggests the unexplained deaths were in fact linked to rare genetic mutations or birth defects, reports RTE.

New South Wales Attorney General Michael Daley said a year-long investigation launched in May 2022 had now revealed “reasonable doubt” about the convictions – and Folbigg had been pardoned.

“In the interests of justice, Kathleen Folbigg should be released from custody as soon as possible,” he said, reports RTE.

In the absence of solid forensic evidence, prosecutors had argued that four children were extremely unlikely to die suddenly without explanation.

However, retired judge Tom Bathurst, who led the inquiry, said subsequent inquiries revealed medical conditions that may have been responsible for three of the deaths.

Judge Bathurst said Sarah and Laura Folbigg had a rare genetic mutation, while Patrick Folbigg may have an “underlying neurogenic condition”, reports RTE.

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