Attorney-general defends Folbigg inquiry

An inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg's convictions for killing her four babies has reinforced her guilt.
An inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg's convictions for killing her four babies has reinforced her guilt.

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman has defended his decision to hold an inquiry into Kathleen Folbigg's convictions for killing her four babies after it found there was no reasonable doubt she carried out the crimes.

Reginald Blanch QC, the former NSW District Court chief judge who presided over the inquiry, concluded he had no reasonable doubt as to Folbigg's guilt in a report published on Monday night.

Folbigg was jailed in 2003 for at least 25 years for killing her four babies - Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura - in the decade from 1989.

The 52-year-old maintains her innocence but Mr Blanch's report said "the only conclusion reasonably open is that somebody intentionally caused harm to the children, and smothering was the obvious method".

"The evidence pointed to no person other than Ms Folbigg," the report said.

Speaking in London on Monday night (AEST), Mr Speakman said his decision to recommend to then-Governor David Hurley that there be an inquiry into her conviction caused him "great distress".

"The deaths of four children is a tragedy, their killing is a deeper tragedy, and the suffering Craig Folbigg and his family have gone through over the last 20 or 30 years is just unimaginable and that weighed heavily on me in deciding whether or not to have this inquiry," he said.

Mr Speakman acknowledged the decision to hold an inquiry "further aggravated what already was an unimaginable tragedy" but insisted the result reinforced confidence in the justice system.

"This was a justifiable use of resources," he said.

He noted the evidence given by Folbigg at the inquiry was found to be a "pack of lies".

"(Mr Blanch) found that evidence was basically a pack of lies, a pack of obfuscation trying to disguise the real truth that she had killed her four children," he said.

Mr Speakman will recommend to the governor that no further action be taken.

Folbigg's lawyer Stuart Gray on Monday night said they were disappointed with the outcome of the inquiry but looked forward to NSW Governor Margaret Beazley's consideration of the report.

"Ultimately, it is a matter for the governor to dispose of Ms Folbigg's petition," he said in a statement.

"We remain hopeful that consideration will be given to the evidence of the various experts that appeared at the inquiry and those that submitted reports after it."

Australian Associated Press