This week Australian Story delves into a legal case with ABC recording phone calls from behind prison walls.
This episode is introduced by Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions.
Kathleen Folbigg is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence for killing all four of her young children.
She has her hopes pinned on a petition drafted by her legal team to the Governor of NSW, seeking a judicial review of the case.
The petition contains a report from one of Australia’s top forensic pathologists, Professor Stephen Cordner, who says: “There is no positive forensic pathology support for the contention that any or all of these children have been killed.”
Australian Story invited a second independent forensic pathologist based at Vancouver General Hospital in Canada, to examine the forensic evidence in relation to the death of Folbigg’s fourth and final child, Laura.
“I think this is an eminently fatal case of myocarditis,” Associate Professor Matthew Orde says, in relation to Laura’s death. Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, is known to cause sudden death in some children.
“On the basis of the medical evidence alone, I think this case certainly needs to be re-examined quite carefully,” he says.
In an Australian Story exclusive, Kathleen Folbigg speaks out for the first time about her case. During phone calls to a friend, recorded by the ABC, she candidly discusses life behind bars, her hopes for the petition and her view of some of the events leading to her multiple murder convictions.
Nicholas Cowdery, who was Director of Public Prosecutions for NSW at the time of Kathleen Folbigg’s trial, disagrees with the need for a judicial review.
“I have looked at the petition that Mrs Folbigg has lodged… I remain of the view that the jury was correct,” he says.
However Cowdery is critical of the time taken to process the petition. “The fact that the petition was filed three years ago, is concerning. I think this is an inordinate delay in dealing with the matter.”
For Kathleen Folbigg, now midway through her sentence, an answer can’t come soon enough. “For over three years now, we’ve been clinging to that little bit of hope.”
8pm Monday on ABC