Kathleen Folbigg spent 20 years in an Australian prison accused of a crime she did not commit. Kathleen was dubbed an infanticide and “Australia’s most hated woman” when she was found guilty of killing 4 of her children in 2003. In June 2023, the Court of Appeal overturned Folbigg’s conviction after an inquiry that examined new scientific evidence and found that there was reasonable doubt about her guilt.
Kathleen decried the botched trial: to find her guilty, the prosecution relied on the controversial Meadow’s Law, which presumes that in families where three or more infants die suddenly, their parents are the murderers. Folbigg’s original conviction was not based on medical testimony explaining how her four young children – Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura – died between 1989 and 1999, between the ages of 19 days and 18 months. As evidence of Kathleen Folbigg’s guilt, the judges cited excerpts from her diary.
In 2018, a team of experts conducted a study showing that Kathleen Folbigg and her two daughters are carriers of a rare genetic abnormality known as “CALM2-G114R”. The two boys were carriers of a variant of the “BSN” gene. “This gene has been shown to cause epilepsy with early death,” explains immunologist Carola Vinuesa, adding that “there is a high probability that the deaths of these four children were natural.”
The case could lead to the largest compensation for wrongful conviction in Australia – and a review of the country’s judicial system.
MASS MEDIA ABOUT THE CASE:
“I have a chance to rebuild my life. A chance that many others will never have. We need to improve the Australian justice system to ensure fair trials because the truth is very important.”
The Action Group has asked Australian President Anthony Albaniz and Attorney General Mark Dreyfus for clarification on the current case. The Action Group believes it is important to combat police brutality and can provide legal and informational assistance to Kathleen Folbigg if necessary.