Kathleen Folbigg was a loving mother of four children; Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura. On May 23, 2003, she was found guilty by jury of the murder of Patrick, Sarah and Laura, and guilty of the manslaughter of Caleb, in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

There was no physical evidence the children were murdered. The prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence to present their case. Kathleen has spent the last 15 years in prison and continues to maintain her innocence.

In June 2015, three Newcastle-based Barristers submitted a Petition to the Governor outlining grounds upon which Kathleen’s convictions should be reviewed. This Petition contains fresh and compelling evidence consistent with Kathleen’s innocence, including a report from one of Australia’s leading forensic pathologists who concluded that there is no basis in forensic pathology that any of the children were smothered.

Three years later, Kathleen and her supporters are still waiting for the Governor to respond to the Petition.

After 20 years in jail Kathleen Folbigg has finally been pardoned. NSW Attorney General Michael Daley made the recommendation of a pardon this morning to the NSW Governor, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC.

Her Excellency accepted the recommendation.

NSW Attorney General Michael Daley has today also released summary findings prepared by the Hon Thomas Bathurst AC KC, who has been leading the Inquiry into the convictions of Kathleen.

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.”

Based on these findings, Daley recommended to the Governor that the Royal prerogative of mercy be applied to unconditionally pardon Kathleen.

Key points from Bathurst’s memorandum to the Attorney General include:

  • There is a reasonable possibility that three of the children died of natural causes.
  • In the case of Sarah and Laura Folbigg, there is a reasonable possibility a genetic mutation known as CALM2-G114R occasioned their deaths.
  • Bathurst was “unable to accept… the proposition that Ms Folbigg was anything but a caring mother for her children.”
  • In relation to the death of a fourth child, Bathurst found that “the coincidence and tendency evidence which was central to the (2003) Crown case falls away.”
  • In relation to Kathleen’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.

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

Bathurst will continue to prepare a report to the Governor pursuant to s 82 of the Crimes (Appeal & Review) Act 2001 NSW.

NSW Attorney General Michael Daley said: “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.

“I thank the team on the inquiry for the work they have done so far. I also thank Mr Bathurst for the thorough and robust assessment he provided me which helped enable this outcome.

“I thank the previous Attorney General Mark Speakman and the NSW Governor her Excellency the Hon Margaret Beazley, KC, AC, for establishing this inquiry.

“Given all that has happened over the last 20 years, it is impossible not feel sympathy for Kathleen and Craig Folbigg. I am glad that our legal system in NSW contains provisions that allow for the continual pursuit of truth and justice.”

However, her convictions have not been quashed. The only body that can do that is a Court of Criminal Appeal.

“The effect of a pardon is that she will not have to serve the rest of her sentence,” Daley said.

Our fight for justice continues, but we are thrilled that she finally has her freedom.

Daley revealed: “I would like to also say that we also took the opportunity, as you would expect, to make sure that Ms Folbigg was released without delay so I spoke to the minister for corrections last night.”

Thank you to everyone who has supported Kathleen during this difficult journey.

The NSW Government has supported a motion that has passed in the upper house, which calls for Kathleen Folbigg to be released. It follows the hearing into her convictions in April finding there was medical evidence to suggest her children died of natural causes.

The motion was put forward by Sue Higginson, the NSW Greens’ justice spokesperson. It called on NSW Attorney-General Michael Daley to issue advice to the governor to either pardon Kathleen, or grant her conditional release on parole.

“With this motion being carried, the calls for Ms Folbigg’s release will continue to escalate and the pressure on the attorney general will increase,” Higginson said.

“The weight of the submissions of counsel assisting the inquiry was acknowledged and the importance of the director of public prosecution’s confirmation of those. Now it is up to the attorney general to respond to the evidence and release Ms Folbigg. This is not a matter of opinion or belief, this is a matter of evidence and justice.”

Labor MP Stephen Lawrence said during the debate the evidence given at the inquiry was the most “significant development in the criminal justice system in NSW [in] living memory”.

“The horror of what we are dealing with here can scarcely be understated,” he said. “It’s perhaps those horrors that make this case quite difficult to engage with on a human level, but engagement with it needs to be done.”

Unfortunately, the motion included amendments that the government take action as soon as appropriate and practicable rather than immediately.

Acting on behalf of Daley in the upper house, Treasurer Daniel Mookhey amended the motion and said the government would only act once the inquiry hands down their report. However, he said they would move with “urgency” once it was appropriate to do so.

“We wish to ensure that our amendments reflect the significance of this matter and provide assurance to all affected parties that the government has heard and is listening to these calls for actions and will make determinations of Ms Folbigg’s applications as soon as it practical,” he said.

“The proper administration of justice and central belief in the Attorney-General will ensure that significant matters are dealt with proper diligent and proper consideration.”

Nationals MP Bronnie Taylor commended the work of Kathleen’s friend, Tracy Chapman and her lawyer, Rhanee Rego who has worked her client pro bono for six years.

“I respect with the Attorney-General has decided to wait for Tom Bathurst but I do urge the Attorney-General to act immediately once he receives the report and pardons Katelyn because every day in prison is a day too long,” said Taylor.

A spokesperson for Daley said: “It would not be prudent for the Attorney-General to make a determination with respect to Ms Folbigg’s case in advance of receiving advice or findings from the Inquirer, the Hon Tom Bathurst KC, given the previous extensive judicial consideration, and the breadth of technical scientific and legal evidence being considered,” they said.

“This government was elected with a mandate to act on expert advice when it comes to decisions across government.

“The Attorney-General will work to expedite any recommendations regarding Ms Folbigg which may result from the Inquiry.”

Tracy (pictured main with fellow supporter Megan Donegan) said Australians should be outraged that Kathleen remains in prison, with no clear date for when the former NSW chief justice Tom Bathurst KC, who is heading the inquiry, will finalise his report.

“I sat in court a month ago and I heard the words reasonable doubt and have hung onto those words, waiting, waiting. She should have been let out the day after that was announced.”

Sign the petition calling for Kathleen’s release here.

The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions has conceded there is ‘reasonable doubt’ in Kathleen’s case, as Tom Bathurst KC hears closing submissions in her second judicial inquiry.

Sophie Callan SC, one of three lawyers assisting the inquiry, said the evidence overall shows there is reasonable doubt about Kathleen’s convictions, and a strong plausible case for each child’s death.

“Ms Folbigg urges Your Honour to find reasonable doubt and the strong possibility of innocence,” Callan said.

Callan said evidence about a rare gene mutation Kathleen shared with her two daughters – CALM2G114R – must be seen as casting doubt on her convictions for killing Laura and Sarah.

She said other medical evidence about seizures and epilepsy must be seen as casting doubt on Kathleen’s convictions for killing sons Patrick and Caleb.

She also said psychiatric and psychological expert evidence presented to the inquiry has cast doubt on Kathleen’s diary entries used to convict her at trial.

Callan told the inquiry Kathleen “had a major depressive disorder and was expressing maternal grief” when she wrote about struggling with motherhood.

Outside the inquiry, Justice For Kathleen Folbigg spokesperson Tracy Chapman said: “To hear it in the courtroom this morning… I should have brought more tissues, I cried a river. I’m ready to go and get her and bring her home.”

The inquiry will conclude with the remaining closings submissions on Thursday before Mr Bathurst will deliver his findings at a later date.

If Mr Bathurst finds there is reasonable doubt as to Kathleen’s guilt, he can refer her case to the Court of Appeal where her convictions could be quashed. He can also send his report to NSW Governor Margaret Beazley, who can issue Kathleen with a pardon.

“If there’s empathy and humanity in this space, the judge after hearing what he’s heard, I would love him to give her parole now,” Tracy said.

“But ultimately I’d love a pardon. We’ll take what we can get at this point. Bring her home!”

The second inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg’s convictions for killing her four children was adjourned for a second time on February 24, following police producing 500 hours of secret recordings from a device planted in her home in 1999.

The inquiry also abruptly adjourned in November 2022 just two days into what was expected to be two weeks of scheduled hearings.

The adjournment came after professors Michael Toft Overgaard and Mette Nyegaard told the inquiry they had made a “significant discovery” regarding a gene called calmodulin.

New research into a gene variant called CALM2 G114R suggests it might have caused Sarah and Laura’s deaths. Tests on their DNA samples showed this mutation was inherited by the girls from Kathleen.

The inquiry, which is being led by NSW former Supreme Court Chief Justice, Tom Bathurst KC, resumed on February 13.

On the final day of evidence, police tabled the recordings, which the inquiry heard had been discovered in December and provided to the inquiry.

Bathurst said it was a “matter of concern they were produced so late”.

He will decide, following the third installment of the inquiry, whether the evidence raises reasonable doubt about Kathleen’s guilt.

If his decision is yes, the case could go back to the Court of Criminal Appeal to consider a pardon or retrial.

Why the new evidence matters

Research was published in 2021 into a newly-discovered variant of a gene which produces calmodulin, a functional protein.

According to this research and subsequent tests into its function, the variant reduces the body’s ability to properly regulate calcium and sodium ions in heart cells. 

As Cosmos explains: “Mette Nyegaard and Michael Toft Overgaard expressed their view that no variation to any of the three calmodulin-coding genes – CALM1, CALM2 and CALM3 – could be considered benign, due to the protein’s role in regulating the heart’s ion exchange. This process elicits the human heartbeat.

“In Kathleen Folbigg, the CALM2 gene she passed onto the girls was found to have mutated at position 114, replacing the smallest amino acid glycine with the second-largest, arginine. This is the position where calmodulin proteins normally bind to sodium ion channels in heart cells, meaning the final, so-called ‘Folbigg variant’ (technically CALM2 G114R) is impeded in this task.

“The subsequent misregulation of sodium, they say, could give rise to irregular heartbeats in children.”

There is also no evidence that Kathleen’s children were smothered, which was the view of Dr Allan Cala, the forensic pathologist at her trial.

Other forensic pathologists disagreed. Professor Stephen Cordner – whose retrospective forensic assessment triggered the 2019 inquiry – and Dr Matthew Orde, declared the absence of injuries on the children made it difficult to conclude deliberate suffocation.

In the 2019 inquiry, other pathologists who presented their assessments of the four deaths shared that view.

Professor Peter Fleming, a world-renowned expert in sudden infant death syndrome, strongly emphasised his view that while forced suffocation may leave no signs of injury, as argued by Cala, he would expect to find injuries in older children like Sarah and Laura.

The inquiry will resume on April 26 for closing submissions.

Sign our petition for justice

It is clear there is reasonable doubt in this case. Please sign Kathleen’s public petition calling for her immediate release and share it with your friends and family.


It has been an exhausting but rewarding nine days for the Justice for Kathleen Folbigg team during the inquiry into her convictions.

Many strong testimonies have been given by expert witnesses that cast reasonable doubt on her convictions.

Here are links to some of the top stories on the case.

>> Kathleen Folbigg diary entries not an admission of guilt, inquiry hears

This ABC News article discusses an expert report tendered to the inquiry into the convictions of Kathleen Folbigg for killing her four children claims diary entries that were used to convict her are not admissions of guilt. 

>> Leading expert discredits evidence used to convict Kathleen Folbigg of murder

This ABC News article focuses on testimony by Professor Peter Fleming, a world-renowned paediatric intensivist, who told the inquiry he had personally investigated 200 child deaths and was part of a team investigating another 600 child deaths. He said Kathleen’s children did not have injuries consistent with suffocation.

>> Folbigg diaries do not contain ‘true confessions of guilt’, inquiry told

A Sydney Morning Herald article exploring the evidence by experts regarding Kathleen’s diaries.

>> Folbigg’s son likely died of natural causes, Monique Ryan tells inquiry

A Sydney Morning Herald article focussing on the testimony by Federal independent MP Monique Ryan, a senior paediatric neurologist.

>> Folbigg ‘did not smother babies’

The Australian discusses evidence by Canadian forensic pathologist Matthew Orde who said there was no reliable evidence to indicate Kathleen suffocated the babies; and professor Stephen Cordner, who said it was “highly unlikely” the four children were smothered due to the absence of petechiae (a small spot caused by bleeding through the skin) or injuries in the mouth.

>> It would be extraordinary for someone to kill Folbigg children without leaving a mark, says SIDS expert

A great article from Cosmos magazine regarding Dr Monique Ryan’s evidence.

>> MP tells Folbigg inquiry son may have died from undiagnosed neurogenetic disorder

The Guardian explores Dr Monique Ryan’s testimony.

>> VIDEO: Folbigg inquiry hears diary entries show grief, not guilt

ABC News report.

>> Folbigg inquiry head must decide on evidence now, “can’t wait for science to fully develop”

Cosmos article on why science alone is unlikely to determine the outcome of the inquiry, with former NSW Chief Justice Tom Bathurst KC saying he can’t wait for scientific certainty to emerge over years to make a decision on the case.

>> Kathleen Folbigg letters and diary entries released to inquiry reveal dark moments in jail

ABC article offering summary of Kathleen’s diary and letters.

Kathleen Folbigg inquiry resumes

The second inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg’s convictions resumes on February 13, after being abruptly adjourned in November 2022.

The inquiry is being led by NSW former Supreme Court Chief Justice, Tom Bathurst KC. It has been reviewing new research into a gene variant called CALM2 G114R, which might have caused Sarah and Laura’s deaths. Tests on their DNA samples showed this mutation was inherited by the girls from Kathleen.

The two weeks of scheduled hearings were cut short after just two days when professors Michael Toft Overgaard and Mette Nyegaard told the inquiry they had made a “significant discovery” regarding the gene that carried the mutation, called calmodulin.

The Danish genetics experts are returning to give further evidence and will be followed by scientists Carola Vinuesa and Todor Arsov, who together found the novel variant in the calmodulin or CALM2 gene; medical expert Matthew Cook; expert in the genetics of cardiac arrhythmias Peter Schwartz; and forensic medicine expert Stephen Cordner.

Resources denied to Folbigg legal team

As reported in The Australian, former Macquarie banker Peter Yates been forced to raise $80,000 to fly scientists from the UK, Denmark and eastern Europe to give evidence at the government-­ordered inquiry, as the NSW Government won’t finance their flights.

While the Crown is being funded and resourced by the Attorney-General’s Department; Kathleen’s team have been relying on Legal Aid.

“Instructing solicitor Rhanee Rego and barristers Gregory Woods KC and Robert Cavanagh have been working pro-bono for months because Legal Aid only provided 35 days of funding,” The Australian noted.

“Rego’s efforts alone are said to have reached more than 1000 hours … Most miserly of all is the matter finding accommodation for the legal team. Rego lives in Newcastle and Legal Aid won’t stump up the funds for even a budget hotel in Sydney, the cost of which is about $8000 for the duration of the hearings. It’s the same story for the barristers.”

As journalist Yoni Bashan notes: “Such lopsided arrangements can only signal a half-hearted commitment to the fair and full-throated defence of Folbigg’s case.”

We sincerely hope that is not the case as we seek justice for Kathleen. 

The hearing in the Inquiry will take place on Level 4 of the Chief Secretary’s Building, 121 Macquarie Street, Sydney. Public entry to the Chief Secretary’s Building is via Bridge Street, Sydney.

The hearing in the Inquiry will also be live-streamed on the Department of Communities and Justice Youtube channel- external sitelaunch.

Limited seating is available for members of the public at the hearing.

The first hearing block in the Kathleen Folbigg inquiry commenced on 14 November 2022 and was listed to run for two weeks.

However, it was adjourned today for three months to allow experts time to review new evidence that has been presented.

Genetic experts Mette Nyegaard and Michael Toft Overgaard travelled from Denmark to give evidence at the Inquiry. They are co-authors of research published in March 2021, which found a rare inherited genetic mutation, CALM2-G114R, may cause cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death in children.

The genetic mutation was found in Kathleen’s daughters Laura and Sarah. Their research discovered that the rare genetic mutation interferes with sodium and calcium levels, which are important for heart function. 

“Would you say if it was ‘likely’ that the girls died by reason of the variant?” junior counsel assisting the inquiry, Julia Roy, asked the scientists.

“We think it is likely this mutation could have caused the death,” Overgaard said.

“It looks like a bad variant,” Nyegaard agreed.

Read an explanation of why CALM2-G114R can be deadly in Cosmos Magazine.

Chief justice Tom Bathurst has adjourned the inquiry until February 2023, noting that the parties involved in the inquiry needed time to process the evidence.

He described it as “new and quite exceptional” information.

We are hoping the truth – and science – will finally set Kathleen free.

As Kathleen’s friend Tracy Chapman notes about the new evidence: “Beyond reasonable doubt? Hell yes!”


The long-awaited Kathleen Folbigg Inquiry commences on 14 November 2022.

It will include evidence that indicates Kathleen’s two daughters, Laura and Sarah, inherited a genetic mutation on the CALM2 gene, a gene associated with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death.

A study on the mutations was published in 2021 with evidence is so strong, a petition was signed by 90 eminent scientists, include two Nobel laureates – Professors Elizabeth Blackburn and Peter Doherty. The petition now has 151 signatures including world experts in cardiac arrhythmias.

As journalist Quentin McDermott notes in The Australian: “On Monday, the guilt or innocence of Kathleen Folbigg, a mother convicted of killing all four of her children, will come down to this: did the genetic variant she carries and which, scientists say, she passed on to two of her children trigger their deaths?

“That judgment will be made by a former chief justice of NSW, Tom Bathurst AC KC, as he presides over a fresh inquiry into her convictions that could see her walk free after 19 years in prison.”

Last year John Shine, a former president of the Australian Academy of Science, said: “We have very strong, robust scientific evidence that the mutations in these children could certainly have played a major role in their susceptibility to sudden death.”

Describing Kathleen as “a victim of the genetic lottery”, he added: “She’s extremely unlucky because the chance of having the particular mutation she’s got is very, very low. It’s almost non-existent in the rest of the population.

“However, once you have that mutation in the family, then your genetic blueprint has that mutation. And so the chance of passing that to your children and their children is incredibly high.”

While this scientific opinion by one of the world’s foremost genetic experts points to far more than reasonable doubt, McDermott points out that some argue this is another factor in play in whether Kathleen’s innocence will be acknowledged – “the crude political consideration of setting free a mother once labelled ‘the most hated woman in Australia'”.

“The signs are the Liberal NSW government is unlikely to free Folbigg if it can help it ahead of next year’s state election in March – and potentially the ultimate responsibility for deciding Folbigg’s fate may then fall to a Labor attorney-general. How sad if, in the end, it all comes down to politics,” McDermott writes.

The Inquiry will include face-to-face hearings in two blocks.

The first hearing block in the Inquiry will commence on 14 November 2022 and is listed for two weeks.

During the first hearing block, it is intended that cardiac and genetic evidence will be adduced.

The second hearing block in the Inquiry will commence on 13 February 2023 and is listed for two weeks. During the second hearing block, it is intended that psychology, psychiatry and other evidence relevant to Kathleen’s diaries will be adduced.

The hearing in the Inquiry will commence at 9am on 14 November 2022 and will take place on Level 4 of the Chief Secretary’s Building, 121 Macquarie Street, Sydney. Public entry to the Chief Secretary’s Building is via Bridge Street, Sydney.

The hearing in the Inquiry will be live-streamed on the Department of Communities and Justice Youtube channel here:


Limited seating is available for members of the public at the hearing. Members of the public are encouraged to view the proceedings online via the livestream.

Mother’s Guilt podcast series: The Kathleen Folbigg story

Have you listened to the Mother’s Guilt podcast series: The Kathleen Folbigg story.

The Mother’s Guilt eight-part podcast traces the case from the 1960s, starting with Kathleen’s childhood and teens and into her marriage to Craig and their four separate losses.

Kathleen’s friends from childhood, high school and during her marriage appear in episode two discussing their close bonds with her. They have maintained her innocence throughout the many years she has been in prison and hope the science presented in the inquiry finally sets her free.

The new inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg’s case will return to court in September for a directions ­hearing and Justice for Kathleen Folbigg is pleading with her former husband Craig to provide his DNA so that further testing can be conducted to ascertain the cause of death of their four children.

Initially, Craig Folbigg’s lawyer Danny Eid said his client was unable to fund his legal representation for the ­inquiry and was denied funding from the Attorney-General. ­

Last week NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman approved “discretionary funding” towards Craig Folbigg’s legal representation in the inquiry. However, the offer of funds has not compelled Folbigg to change his stance against taking part in the inquiry.

Friend Tracy Chapman said she was bewildered by Folbigg’s decision to withhold his DNA.

“It’s disappointing, but at the end of the day only Craig knows why,” she said.

“He has been told time and time again his DNA would be kept confidential, and it was not going to go on a database. You would think it would be a no-brainer.”

Here is a round-up of some of the stories.

Plea for ex-husband‘s DNA to exonerate Kathleen Folbigg

The Daily Telegraph writes:

Kathleen Folbigg’s ex-husband is under increasing pressure to provide his DNA, with top scientists saying his co-­operation would provide vital information that could exonerate the woman jailed for killing their four infant children.

Craig Folbigg has indicated he will not give his DNA or ­attend the upcoming inquiry set down for November, citing a lack of funds for legal representation.

Geneticist Adjunct Professor Oliver Mayo from the University of Adelaide is a cosignatory to the Australian Academy of Science petition signed by 90 eminent scientists calling for Folbigg’s immediate pardon and release from jail based on the new ­evidence.

Mr Folbigg’s refusal to give a DNA sample was a missed opportunity to investigate if the couple’s two sons also ­inherited genetic mutations from the father’s side that could explain their deaths, Prof Mayo said.

The case against Folbigg, who was sentenced to 30 years with a non-parole period of 25 years, is a miscarriage of justice, according to scientists who argue the legal profession in Australia is behind other countries that have now ­reversed similar cases based on British Professor Roy Meadow’s rule of three – that “one sudden infant death is a tragedy, two is suspicious and three is murder, until proved otherwise”.

Read more

Craig Folbigg, ex-husband of convicted child killer Kathleen Folbigg refuses to give a DNA sample

The Daily Mail writes:

The former husband of convicted child killer Kathleen Folbigg has refused to provide DNA evidence which could exonerate his ex-wife of the deaths of their four children more than two decades ago.

Ms Folbigg was convicted in 2003 of smothering her four children Patrick, Sarah, Laura and Caleb, yet new scientific evidence showed her daughters carried a mutation which causes heart irregularities, raising the possibility they died from natural causes.

Her bid for freedom will rely heavily on the strength of new genetic evidence but Craig Folbigg – Kathleen’s ex-husband – is declining to provide his DNA which experts said would provide ‘considerable assistance’ to their enquiry.

Read more

Geneticist behind Lindy Chamberlain freedom bid backs Folbigg DNA plea

The Australian writes:

The scientist whose evidence proved Lindy Chamberlain innocent is horrified that Kathleen Folbigg’s former husband has refused to provide DNA samples that could help show she was wrongly convicted of killing her four infant children.

Geneticist Barry Boettcher, who provided crucial blood evidence that cleared Ms Chamberlain of killing her daughter Azaria, said it was vital Craig Folbigg’s DNA be made available to the new inquiry probing fresh scientific evidence in the case.

“I think that it’s as serious as the Lindy Chamberlain case to me,” Professor Boettcher told The Australian. “Of course, to convict anyone of murder you want all the evidence possible and when there’s evidence that’s possible but not made available, I personally feel that it is a big drawback.

“In our society, there is no more serious charge than of murder and to uphold the charge of murder you would want every bit of information available.”

Read more

It has been wonderful to receive so many messages of support for Kath over the last 24 hours since it was announced that there would be a second inquiry into her case.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to let us know that they are with us in our fight for justice.

Kath has responded to the Attorney General’s statement in which he apologised for the grief he was causing Craig Folbigg, her ex husband.

Speakman noted: “I have also again spoken with their father Craig Folbigg to inform him about today’s decision; I am deeply sorry that yet again he and his family will have to re-visit their nightmare.”

Kath’s school friend Tracy Chapman spoke to her following the announcement.

She said: “Kath lives with the grief of losing her four children every day – just as her ex husband does.

“She thinks about her children constantly and the loss is further compounded daily by the reality that she’s a maximum security prisoner because in the eyes of the law she’s been convicted of the worst crimes imaginable.

“The fact there is another inquiry shows how compelling the new scientific and diary related evidence is.”

Speakman’s statement regarding the inquiry, which will be headed by the Honourable Chief Justice Bathurst, ended with the words: “Given this matter will now be the subject of an independent judicial inquiry, I do not propose to provide any further comment at this time.”

However, he told Channel 7 News that he could “well understand why members of the public may shake their heads and roll their eyes in disbelief about the number of chances that Ms Folbigg has had to clear her name”.

Our question to Speakman is: should an innocent woman simply shut up and accept her 25-year, non-parole period jail sentence when 150 scientists are supporting evidence that she should be pardoned? No amount of head shaking should stand in the way of science.

The official statement from the Australian Academy of Science regarding the announcement of a second inquiry reads: “While many Fellows of the Academy think there is overwhelming evidence to justify Ms Folbigg’s immediate release, we respect the Attorney General’s decision and the legal process he has decided on, which is to have a second Inquiry.

“The Academy welcomes the Attorney General’s invitation to attend the new Inquiry.

“The Academy intends to assist the Honourable Chief Justice Bathurst by making available suitable experts to advise on the medical, genetic, diary and probabilistic evidence. Given the complicated nature of the evidence, this will likely involve recruiting experts from around the world.

“While the new genetic evidence in this case has already been peer reviewed by other scientists, the Academy appreciates that the legal community has its own methods for testing evidence.

“The Academy will seek to facilitate that process as best it can and looks forward to receiving the draft terms of reference for the Inquiry from the Attorney General so it can assist in defining the scope of the Inquiry.”

Justice for Kathleen Folbigg was also saddened by the insensitive headlines printed by some newspapers yesterday, particularly an article by Matthew Benns in the Daily Telegraph that was headlined “Kid killer Folbigg in new review”. Surely the media should have examined the new evidence in the case well enough to have moved on from such casual cruelty?

As Quentin McDermott noted in The Australian: “For the past seven years at least, the NSW government has had solid evidence that there were serious doubts surrounding Folbigg’s convictions. In 2015, world-­renowned forensic pathologist Stephen Cordner concluded that: ‘Ultimately, and simply, there is no forensic pathology support for the contention that any or all of these children have been killed, let alone smothered.’

“Almost certainly, by announcing a second inquiry, Speakman has effectively delayed any final decision until after the state election next March. That means if eventually Folbigg is freed, he may well not be the one to announce it.

“And his decision begs more questions than it answers. Despite asserting ‘there is a need for fairness and transparency to all’, Speakman refused to release the legal advice he has received. One can only guess at what that legal advice says, what course of action it recommends, and whether he has followed that advice.”