A mother who was imprisoned for 20 years for killing her 4 children has been acquitted

A mother who was imprisoned for 20 years for killing her 4 children has been acquitted

Dec 15,2023

A woman once dubbed "Australia's worst mother" has been cleared of murdering her four children.

The Supreme Court of New South Wales on Thursday concluded that the testimony relied on by the court to testify against Kathleen Folbigg was "not credible".

In June (6) this year, this 56-year-old woman was released and granted amnesty, after spending 20 years in prison.

Kathleen welcomed the new information but said evidence of her innocence had been "ignored and denied" for decades.

"The government continued to convict me instead of acknowledging that sometimes children can and do die suddenly and unexpectedly and heartbreakingly," she said in court on Thursday.

The woman's case was said to be the worst and most serious injustice in the Australian judiciary.

It covered the deaths of four infants, Caleb, Patrick, Sarah, and Laura – each of whom died suddenly between 1989 and 1999, aged between 19 days and 18 months.

At her trial, prosecutors said he killed them by causing them to suffocate.

The court relied on extensive evidence, using Kathleen's daily diary - which had not been examined by a psychiatrist - to prove that she was an incompetent woman, addicted to anger.

In 2003 she was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being convicted of torturing Sarah, Patrick and Laura, and accidentally killing Caleb.

On appeal, this sentence was changed to 30 years, but the woman lost several other cases that aimed to change this decision.

At the beginning of this year, a new and in-depth investigation was launched into her case, which concluded that there was no indisputable evidence to prove him guilty.

The investigation revealed scientific evidence that her children may have died of natural causes due to abnormal tissue conditions.

This was a "significant" sign that he was acquitted of all charges on Thursday, according to Judge Andrew Bell.

Kathleen's legal team confirmed they are now seeking damages, but did not say how much.

This woman's case has been followed by many around the world who have accused the Australian judiciary of being slow to accept scientific evidence.

Kathleen said: “I'm grateful that modern science and genetics have provided answers to how my children died. Only, even in 1999, we had legal results that showed my innocence."

“[Prosecutors] took my words in a different context and used them to accuse me…I hope no one else will suffer the way I did.”