After two decades behind bars, Kathleen Folbigg has stepped into a new chapter after being released from prison and pardoned over her 2003 murder conviction.
Now free from the confines of her prison cell, Folbigg has reflected on her newfound freedom and the weight of her past while facing the prospect of rebuilding her life.
Folbigg revealed that after so many years spent behind bars, adjusting to the realities of life outside prison walls will take some time.
“It probably will be a while before I sort of go, ‘Okay, yeah. That Kathleen person’s actually me.’ So yeah,” she told 7News Spotlight.
“I always see myself just as a very simple Nova Castrum, Newcastle girl, who, though I might have lost four children, led a very normal life.”
Undeterred by her past and the years spent behind bars, Folbigg is embracing an optimistic outlook for what lies ahead.
“For me … I’d like to think that people can take away a message that you can survive it, you can move on from it. And that, for me, the future is everything. And your future is anything,” she said.
Folbigg was imprisoned in 2003 after being convicted for the deaths of her children—Sarah, Caleb, Laura, and Patrick—occurring between 1989 and 1999.
However, a recent inquiry into her murder and manslaughter convictions revealed fresh scientific evidence which found there was “reasonable doubt” regarding Folbigg’s guilty verdict.
Folbigg, who has always maintained her innocence, was released on Monday, June 5 after having completed 20 years of her 25-year sentence.
Folbigg’s release dominated headlines after NSW Attorney-General Michael Daley announced the decision to grant her release, wishing her “well for the rest of her life”.
“This morning I met with the governor. I recommended that the governor should exercise the royal prerogative of mercy and grant Ms Folbigg an unconditional pardon,” he told reporters.
“The governor agreed. Ms Folbigg has now been pardoned.”
Daley called on the media and the public to give Folbigg her space following her “20-year ordeal”.
“I think we all have to put ourselves in her shoes and let her now have the space that she needs to get on with her life,” he said.
“It has been a 20-year ordeal for her.
“We wish her well for the rest of her life.”