On Friday the former Chief Judge of the District Court, the Hon Reginald Blanch AM QC, provided a report on the results of the inquiry into the convictions of Kathleen Megan Folbigg to Her Excellency the Governor of New South Wales.
Mr Blanch concludes in his report that “the investigations of the Inquiry have … produced evidence that reinforces Ms Folbigg’s guilt” and that he does not have “any reasonable doubt as to the guilt of Kathleen Megan Folbigg for the offences of which she was convicted”.
The inquiry commenced following a petition by legal representatives for Ms Folbigg that appeared to raise a doubt or question as to the evidence of the incidence of reported deaths of three or more infants in the same family attributed to unidentified natural causes in the proceedings leading to Ms Folbigg’s conviction.
I recommended that the Governor order the inquiry to ensure ongoing public confidence in the administration of justice by examining closely whether justice was done in this case. It was an immensely difficult decision made after carefully considering the petition and taking extensive advice.
I have spoken to Mr Craig Folbigg regarding the report. I acknowledge that the decision to commence an inquiry has further aggravated what already was an unimaginable tragedy. I am sorry for the toll that the inquiry has taken on Mr Folbigg and family members over the last year.
I hope that the conclusion of the inquiry, and the report’s findings, might provide comfort in some way to the relatives of Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura, and will dispel community concern regarding Ms Folbigg’s convictions. Victims Services NSW remains available to offer support to family members.
Ms Folbigg was represented by Senior Counsel during the inquiry, which heard expert evidence relating to advances in forensic pathology, genetics, neurology, immunology and the understanding of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome since her trial in 2003. Ms Folbigg also gave evidence regarding diary entries tendered in her trial.
I thank Mr Blanch for his extensive efforts in completing the inquiry. I also acknowledge the legal team who worked on the inquiry, in particular counsel assisting, Ms Gail Furness SC, the 16 expert witnesses who gave evidence, and those who contributed to the 40 expert reports that were tendered.
Ms Folbigg will continue to serve her sentence of 30 years imprisonment. She will be first eligible to apply for parole in 2028 at the conclusion of her 25 year non-parole period.