You’ve probably heard the news: NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman has announced an inquiry into the conviction of Kathleen Folbigg.
I couldn’t quite believe it when I heard he was finally holding a press conference about Kathy’s Petition at 2.30pm yesterday. I was so scared he was going to announce there wouldn’t be an inquiry.
I burst into tears when the news was positive, which freaked the eldest out. Both of us are at home sick now. The eldest wanted to know why I was upset and I struggled to get the words out to explain that I was crying with relief.
It would have been devastating to everyone who have given so much to the Petition and to supporting Kathy, only to have it knocked back after so long.
I can’t begin to imagine the bleakness Kathy would have felt.
Kathy was found guilty by a NSW Supreme Court jury in 2003 of the murder of three of her children and the manslaughter of a fourth.
On appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeal imposed a total sentence of 30 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 25 years. Kathy has maintained her innocence during the 15 years she has already spent in jail.
The inquiry will be led by Reginald Blanch QC, the former chief judge of the NSW District Court.
Speakman said he carefully considered a Petition for review – sent to the Governor almost three years ago – and formed the view that an inquiry was necessary.
“The petition appears to raise a doubt or question concerning evidence as to 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 convictions,” Speakman said.
“The direction establishing the inquiry requires Mr Blanch to have particular regard to this evidence in conducting the inquiry.”
The inquiry is expected to take six to 12 months to complete. Blanch will then prepare a report. If he thinks there is a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of Kathleen, he may refer the matter to the Court of Criminal Appeal for further consideration.
The messages started flooding in after the announcement. People were so excited, but my feelings were tempered by trepidation. It’s going to be a looooong 12 months.
But at least Speakman has authorised an inquiry, that’s something. That’s a huge something.
Song of the day: The Beatles “A Day in the Life”