Over60

Legal

New evidence could clear Kathleen Folbigg of killing her daughters

New evidence could clear Kathleen Folbigg of killing her daughters

Fresh genetic evidence which raises new questions about the conviction of Kathleen Folbigg for killing all four of her children have been unveiled.

The new genetic findings, discovered by a team of 27 scientists from Australia, Denmark, Italy, Canada, the United States and France have been peer-reviewed and published in top international cardiology journal, Europace.

The scientists studied a never-before reported genetic mutation found in Folbigg’s children Sarah and Laura that they inherited from her.

Scientists in Denmark, who carried out biochemical experiments say the results show the mutation, known as the CALM2 G114R variant is “likely pathogenic” and “likely” caused the girls’ deaths.

And despite the boys not being the focus of their experiments, the team also discovered a different genetic mutation found in Folbigg’s two sons, Patrick and Caleb, that could explain their deaths too.

Senior author of the recent paper Professor Peter Schwartz said: "The significance of our evidence is that there is a strong possibility that the two female Folbigg children died a natural death, due to a lethal arrhythmia favoured by the presence in these two children of a disease-causing mutation inherited from the mother.

"This mutation causes a 'Calmodulinopathy' — an extremely severe arrhythmic disease that can manifest in three main clinical variants, all predisposing to sudden cardiac death in infancy and childhood, or also later in life."

Professor Schwartz added: "The two girls with the Calmodulin mutation fit the pattern well known in genetic disorders and — more likely than not — they both died a natural arrhythmic death due to their disease.

"It goes without saying that this important finding does not explain the death of the two boys.

"That's another story and I cannot comment on it."