Kathleen Folbigg criminal convictions overturned

Kathleen Folbigg's convictions for the deaths of her four kids have been quashed, after scientists said they likely died from natural causes.
Kathleen Folbigg

Kathleen Folbigg, who was once described as Australia’s “worst female serial killer”, has had her criminal convictions quashed (overturned) by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.

Folbigg was convicted of killing her four children. But, it was later determined her children more likely died of natural causes. Today’s announcement means there is no longer any criminal conviction next to her name.

Who is Kathleen Folbigg?

Kathleen Folbigg is an Australian woman who in 2003 was found guilty of killing her four children (three murder and one manslaughter convictions).

A court sentenced her to a minimum of 25 years in prison, of which she served 20 years.

The deaths

Folbigg’s first child, Caleb, died when he was 19 days old. The cause of death was recorded as SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome, when a baby dies unexpectedly and there’s no clear cause of death).

Her next three children all died at the age of 18 months or younger.

Kathleen Folbigg released

While Folbigg was in prison, an inquiry looked at new scientific evidence suggesting her children could have died from natural causes.

Scientists found that a rare genetic mutation likely caused the death of her children.

After the inquiry, NSW Attorney-General Michael Daley pardoned Folbigg, allowing her to walk free from prison in June.

Today’s decision

While Folbigg was able to leave prison, she still had criminal convictions of murder and manslaughter attached to her name.

Folbigg appealed to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal to officially have these criminal charges “quashed” (overturned).

Today, the court said the new medical evidence cast “reasonable doubt” on Folbigg’s guilt.

Appearing outside court, Kathleen Folbigg said: “I hoped and prayed that one day I would be able to stand here with my name cleared”.

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