Folbigg freed, not guilty beyond reasonable doubt, Academy of Science calls for CCRC

Andrew L. Urban

A decision by the NSW Attorney-General that should have been made four years ago by his predecessor has seen Kathleen Folbigg freed this morning on being granted a pardon by the Governor, on the recommendation of the Attorney-General, Michael Daly. 

The release follows a summary of findings by Thomas Bathurst AC KC who led this second inquiry into her convictions. In a memorandum outlining his findings, Bathurst stated he had reached “a firm view that there was reasonable doubt as to the guilt of Ms Folbigg for each of the offences for which she was originally tried.”

Bathurst was “unable to accept… the proposition that Ms Folbigg was anything but a caring mother for her children.”

Bathurst advised that due to the volume of submissions and evidence, it would take some time for the formal report to be finalised.

The pardon has allowed Folbigg to be freed; she will need to appear before the Court of Criminal Appeal to have the conviction quashed, which would allow her to seek compensation.

“The result today is confirmation that our judicial system is capable of delivering justice, and demonstrates that the rule of law is an important underpinning of our democratic system.” As recently as last week, Daley resisted calls from MPs to free Kathleen, 55,  immediately from prison after the state’s top prosecutor conceded new evidence had created reasonable doubt about her convictions over the deaths of her children.

And in November 2021, While acknowledging the need to hold a fresh inquiry, then NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman had commented: “I can well understand why members of the public may shake their heads and roll their eyes in disbelief about the number of chances Ms Folbigg has had to clear her name, and why does the justice system allow someone who has been convicted of multiple homicides get another go.”

‘Get another go…?’ Because it seems the first ‘go’ ignored the new scientific evidence that cast reasonable doubt over the conviction.

In 2019, the inquiry’s Commissioner Blanch dismissed the suggestion that experts could help him understand Folbigg’s diaries. “I would not be assisted at all in this inquiry by a psychiatrist who wanted to come along and tell me a) what the words of the diary mean, or b) about the fact that a mother who had lost her babies would be upset and emotional and so on,” he declared.

But today, Bathurst’s summary stated that “In relation to Ms Folbigg’s diary entries, evidence suggests they were the writings of a grieving and possibly depressed mother, blaming herself for the death of each child, as distinct from admissions that she murdered or otherwise harmed them.

This entry was posted in Case 17 Kathleen Folbigg, CCRC. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Folbigg freed, not guilty beyond reasonable doubt, Academy of Science calls for CCRC

  1. Pathetic Country used to be the Lucky Country says:

    [In 2019, the inquiry’s Commissioner Blanch dismissed the suggestion that experts could help him understand Folbigg’s diaries. “I would not be assisted at all in this inquiry by a psychiatrist who wanted to come along and tell me a) what the words of the diary mean, or b) about the fact that a mother who had lost her babies would be upset and emotional and so on,” he declared.]

    As well he should dismiss these charlatans who are just joining in the feminist pro-Folbigg partisan campaign to have us believe that numerous judges and jurors and experts over decades of appeals and inquiries were all just misogynists.

    Reg Blanch was absolutely correct to take the dairy entries in plain English at face value and not allow quacks to read the tea leaves and allow Folbigg to use her retconned “I was taken out of context” claims.

    The 2019 inquiry states clearly:

    “The investigations of the Inquiry have instead produced evidence that reinforces Ms Folbigg’s guilt. I find Ms Folbigg’s evidence and the listening device transcripts, neither of which were before the jury, when considered in light of her interview with police, show that Ms Folbigg has been in many respects untruthful, unbelievable and made deliberate attempts to obscure the fact that she committed the offences of which she was convicted.

    “66. Further, I find that Ms Folbigg was untruthful to the police during her interview and in the evidence she gave before me:
    a. I do not accept her evidence that she did not have any concerns about her diary entries. Evidence in the Inquiry from the listening devices, which was not tendered at trial, demonstrates her interest in preventing the content of her diaries being seen. Moreover, the entry in which she hopes a diary “doesn’t come back to bite me like my 97 one has” [NOTABLY AND SUSPICIOUSLY ABSENT FROM THE ABC AUSTRALIAN STORY EPISODE DRAMATIC HANDWRITING ON SCREEN GRAPHICS] shows she understood very well the danger her diaries presented to her. ”

    “8 b. In her interview with police in July 1999, Ms Folbigg said she had not written in a diary since May and had thrown all of her diaries out. When Ms Folbigg was told after her interview that the police intended to execute a search warrant on her premises, she immediately said that she did have a new diary that she had bought the day before (which was found to have an entry from July 1999). This completely contradicts what she had just said in the interview and demonstrates her ability to think quickly in an attempt to avoid suspicion.”

    Look at the radical feminist Canadian academic Cunliffe who thinks her university in Canada is built on stolen land crushed by “settler colonialism” and is officially called on her bio page at her university a “feminist legal studies” professor. She was involved as a pro-Folbigg agitator. Folbigg gradually accumulated like a rolling snowball a bunch of elite leftist feminist allies in her successful attempt to obtain a political pardon and override decades of juridical scrutiny on her case.

    How many throws did she get at clearing her name versus what a male prisoner languishing in prison gets? It is feminism, feminism, feminism, the power of institutional feminism that got her this pardon.

    Look at the Woke drivel Tweeted out day in day out by the alleged impartial genetic scientist Vinuesa. One glance at her Twitter feed shows Pride month and metoo dogma and a bunch of showing off her supposedly heroic role in freeing Folbigg. She speculates that the gene did it not the mother. She can’t prove it for certain at all.

    Look at the leftist feminist screeds everywhere in the media the week of the political pardon that “just happens” to happen as soon as a leftist government is installed in NSW.

    Nearly every headline about the case uses the word “misogyny”. This is a feminist hatchet job.

    Do you think a MALE daycare worker or even a genetically related father who had four kids die on his watch and who lied to cops about not having diaries and then later the cops found diaries upon searching his home and they contained inculpatory statements would not be put on trial?

    I’m supposed to believe this genetic mutation found in only two of the four dead kids killed all four kids and yet magically none of them died when the father was around, none of them died when the kids were in the car, none of them died at the hospital, none of them died when the parent/s were out and about with kids in tow visiting family members, none of them died when family or friends were visiting the house where the kids lived, none of them died when the mother was out shopping with them in the pram, none of them died while out walking in the park in the pram, they all just “happen” to die when Folbigg is the only one around, alone in the house the sole witness to these alleged four in a row random genetic deaths? And she just happens to be the daughter of a violent murderer? She just happens to attack a fellow inmate in 2017 while in prison and be charged with assault?

    I’m supposed to believe that the climate change cult and Covid vaccine pushing Academy of Science passed around a petition and nothing but a bunch of totally disinterested totally unbiased, totally non-Woke, totally non-feminist scientists all put their name to it after carefully each spending hours reading the 500 page 2019 judicial inquiry? that all 160 of the scientists who signed the petition were genetic association experts?

    I’m supposed to believe the father of the dead children just mindlessly misogynistically considers his wife to be a serial killer?

    I’m supposed to believe a cacophony of leftist feminist agitators and leftist ABC and Guardian journalists and leftist scientists are impartial, disinterested, unbiased, but every single other person who was involved in the case throughout the decades and all the appeals and all the multi-million dollar judicial inquiries was a raging misogynist colluding in a boys club to protect the egos of the legal fraternity?

    Urban has read one book by a leftist partisan in this case. Has he even read the entire 2019 report? Has he even read the far-left radical output of the Canadian academic and the far-left Twitter feed of the Spanish feminist geneticist woman scientist?

    In the UK a woman called Maxine Robinson was in prison and had lost an appeal. She had three dead kids. No forensic evidence of smothering. The English Attorney General had called for a review of her case. She was very close to winding up in Folbigg’s position, being a privileged recipient of a judicial review.

    Before the review could get started Robinson admitted to the smotherings (which had no physical autopsy signs).

    Australia is full of forensic scientists who can be hired guns in any case and would have easily said (for a fee, of course) in the UK case that the three Robinson deaths were a statistically rare but credible three in a row SIDS deaths. A rare SIDS Royal Flush.

    Andrew would believe them in a hypothetical version of that UK review had the review gone forward, if they testified to that, because “The Science”.

    The 2019 Folbigg judicial inquiry makes clear you can smother a child with no forensic evidence existing. Multiple experts agreed even Folbigg’s partisan experts including the supposedly storied and respected Victorian one.

    It sure is interesting that SIDS deaths never seem to happen out in the park in the pram or in the middle of K Mart or Coles.

    Sure is interesting. And to have lightning strike not only four times in Folbigg’s case but strike conveniently at home when she’s alone as the only witness. And to have a murderer for a Dad. And to have ambiguous diary entries she lied to police and said had been destroyed/discard only to backpedal.

    Thankfully we have our #metoo climate change Twitter addict lefty journalists and scientists to tell us how Folbigg’s kids died.

    Because a bunch of conjecture and speculation about genes in two of the kids is TOTALLY like finding the matinee jacket in a dingo’s lair. Totally.

    Moronic. Folbigg has already got her first $400,000 lined up with Channel 7. Many millions of dollars, wheelbarrows full of feminist regime cash will no doubt follow.

    “Oh these misogynist judges, in the first case, the two appeals court applications, the High Court leave application, the 2019 multi-million dollar year-long judicial review, the later appeal of that to three more judges, they were all just SCIENCE DENIER MISOGYNISTS! probably even CLIMATE DENIERS and ELECTION DENIERS and TRUMP SUPPORTERS too!”

    I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

    You live in a country where Scott Morrison called Higgins a VICTIM and SAID SORRY TO HER in the most sincere, maudlin apology since Rudd’s apology, in the House of Reps.

    You live in a country where the Queensland DNA crime lab was so corrupted and hapless that it needed a major inquiry just last year.

    You live in a country where the full bench of the High Court feed George Pell and the same day Andrews tweeted out “we believe you” to all “victims”.

    You live in a country where feminist genetic association scientists can throw as much mud at a wall and make it stick to cast reasonable doubt and where you are dumb enough to think this is the equivalent of the Chamberlain case.

    Honestly, you people. Pathetic.

    • andrew says:

      It’s a pity you haven’t put your name to this engaging, passionate and well argued comment. I just make 2 points:
      1 – the argument that four baby deaths must be murder because that just doesn’t happen is fatally flawed: neither do four baby murders in the same family happen.
      2 – the verdict of guilty must only be reached on evidence beyond reasonable doubt. I agree with the old legal formulation that it is better that 10 guilty go free than one innocent suffer.

      • Pathetic Country used to be the Lucky Country says:

        Sorry Andrew. I should have read your commenting rules first. My apologies.

        Yes I agree that it is better to stick to the old axiom to let many guilty people go free rather than have one innocent languishing in prison.

        I am not convinced she should have rotted in prison forever, nor am I convinced she is innocent.

        It is a rare very hard, very hard case. Hard to prove beyond reasonable doubt. She may be more Australia’s OJ Simpson than the next Chamberlain or she may be just a very unlucky, extremely unlucky, infinitesimally unlucky (winning Powerball levels of odds) unlucky lady. Her giddy breathless feminist advocates and the mindless kneejerk leftist “The Science” worship that pervades the country shows these to be imperfect rescuers if they did in fact rescue an innocent woman. Which only Folbigg knows and will ever know.

        My main point is the feminist jubilation from the mainstream elites that this is definitely, objectively, without a doubt, “The Science” coming to the rescue and righting a wrong is highly dubious at best. I don’t know what should have happened in the years leading up to and including 2003 when the deaths of the children were originally garnering the attention of the police and the judicial system. I simply don’t know.

        But I am disappointed the High Court never agreed to look at it. It would be better for faith in the judicial system if rather than a partisan leftist political pardon doing an end-run around the judicial system that the High Court, as in the Pell case, would have looked at it.

        I have been unable to find detail on why the High Court did not look at it. I assume it would have been inappropriate for political leaders to implore the High Court to do so. But it may even be inappropriate for political leaders to ask for the pardon under mostly elite leftwing scientist pressure too. We are not supposed to be governed by unelected lefty Twitter addicted scientists.

        I am more focusing this week on the one-sided (no surprise there) leftist coverage on the ABC’s Australian Story of the case.

        I think we have learned by now that any one of us can find ourselves in prison just on the say-so of forces taken to have authority or testimony taken to have the heft of authority. It is a scary world, a scary country. It ain’t gonna be anything but downhill from here.

        As to Geraldine below, the word “kid” tends to offend some older people I’ve noticed this. No idea why. I guess oldies were trained to think it means baby goat or something. In common 21st century parlance the word is synonymous with “child” so just deal with Geraldine.

        • andrew says:

          Yes, the High Court appeal process is not fit for 21st century purpose, in my humble but firmly held opinion. The entire appellate system creaks and groans under the strain of its own weaknesses. The law deserves respect, but that respect cannot be automatic just because…well, it’s the law. Learned friends and all… I’ve written frequently of the need for reform, informed by legal scholars and practitioners, in the knowledge that such writing is pretty much futile.

          And yes, I agree that the Folbigg case is excruciatingly challenging. And for all the criticisms you make of the scientific evidence, I firmly believe the courts have failed to properly engage with scientific evidence and witnesses.

          • Peter says:

            I think this article about the original Folbigg trial in 2003 is worth reading, to get some idea of what happened:

            Many years ago I attended a High Court “appeal” of the case listed at the top RHS of this website as Case 06 ‘Paul’. I couldn’t believe the rush the Judges seemed to be in, to get it all over in the limited time available and to ignore the crucial points which a barrister pointed out to them. I was in shock.

            When Lindy Chamberlain’s case went to the High Court, the write-up of the sole dissenting opinion in hindsight is so strikingly accurate, logical and sensible that it’s hard to believe that the rest of the High Court got that case so wrong, given that one of them identified the relevant issues clearly and came to the correct conclusion.

            I believe that criticising the High Court us frowned upon. In our democracy, I’m not sure why.

    • Geraldine Allan says:

      Ugly words, “.. only two of the four dead kids killed all four kids”.
      They were/are babies/children, now deceased.

      I’m appalled and saddened at the chosen disrespectful language.

  2. Owen allen says:

    But also, to my shame for not mentioning Sue, who is yet to be freed, ( parole is not freedom ). Tasmania will be held accountable.

  3. Robyn says:

    It was a coordinated effort by scientists, a law firm, a PR agency, and a group of friends led valiantly by Tracy Chapman, which caused her to be set free, and I wonder if this could be used as a template for A Voice to Parliament for all citizens of Australia.

  4. Brian Johnston says:

    Folbigg was freed because the case was not proven. Police screwed up. Folbigg is the only one involved and quite possibly innocent.
    Bluntly speaking a financial payout squares things up. No careers destroyed?

    This will not necessarily spin off as a positive for Sue Neill-Fraser. In the Sue case others are involved which could translate to being less of a screw up more of a frame up. We all believe Devine, Gleeson and Vass were on the ketch. Room for vested interested.
    Sue’s case going to unproven or innocent raises serious questions and puts careers on the line. Still a lot of work to be done. Sue possibly framed complicates things even further.
    Has a reward ever been posted for information in the Sue case. Somebody must know something. $100,000 reward could flush someone out.

  5. David Smith says:

    Similarities between Folbigg – Chamberlain – Neill-Fraser – Some Police/Public Servants cannot accept that they got it wrong and so will defend the ridiculous to the nth degree. Meanwhile Innocent People remain in Prison while these Incompetent Bully Boys hide behind their Desks and say – I told you that you are Wrong and we are Right. Public Servants have Too Much Power and there must be a Tribunal of some sort to Review all the Decisions – the True Facts – Not what the Law says – but the Facts/Evidence of the Cases. I am aware that there are avenues for review – but even these can be stacked to give a Decision they want. What has ever happened to Honesty and Ethics.

  6. Jacinta Rosic says:

    Our nation owes a debt to Lindy Chamberlain and Kathleen Folbigg for the unnecessary trauma they were both subjected to of the worst crime imaginable.

    The only way to do that (over and above monetary compensation in the millions of dollars) is to establish a national Criminal Cases Review Commission in honour of these two Braveheart women, who never waived in the truth, but who were egregiously failed by the criminal justice system.

    Let a CCRC be their legacy.

  7. Joshua M Smith says:

    I’d always felt it was such a long shot just based on her being a mother and the mostly absent examples of a similar case. Having killed the first child, was it such a buzz she would go on and repeat the process a further three more times? It’s a bit out there to say the least. This poor woman has shown the patience of a saint, not to mention her strength mentally.

  8. LizP says:

    Kudos to you, Andrew. I don’t think you get enough recognition for the invaluable work that you do on behalf of the wrongfully convicted.

  9. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    Would have to be a great feeling of vindication for your continuing posts Andrew on this woman’s case.
    Greater reason to continue ‘manning the barricades’ in the case of Sue Neill-Fraser and pushing for a pardon as well as a CCRC in Tasmania.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.