Kathleen Folbigg’s pain: “I grieve every day”

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.”

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