Notorious baby killer Kathleen Folbigg punched fellow inmate over toaster

Kathleen Folbigg, pictured here in 2001, has been convicted of assaulting an inmate in Silverwater prison. Photo: Grant Turner
Kathleen Folbigg, pictured here in 2001, has been convicted of assaulting an inmate in Silverwater prison. Photo: Grant Turner

"Obviously I am my father's daughter," baby killer Kathleen Folbigg wrote in her diary in 1996.

Folbigg, 50, one of Australia's most notorious serial murderers, was pondering whether she had turned out like her father, an underworld criminal who stabbed her mother to death in a jealous rage.

Now her own criminal record has got longer, after she was convicted of assaulting an inmate in a protection wing at Silverwater women's prison during a fight over a toaster on April 21.

Folbigg, who is 14 years into a 25-year minimum jail term for killing her four children, was sentenced in Burwood Local Court last month to four-months' prison for common assault.

A death notice in The Newcastle Herald in May 2003 for the babies who were killed by their mother, Kathleen Folbigg.

A death notice in The Newcastle Herald in May 2003 for the babies who were killed by their mother, Kathleen Folbigg.

Her name was briefly mentioned in Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday before an appeal over the sentence for the assault.

According to a statement of facts, Folbigg angrily snatched a communal toaster out of the hands of inmate Tara Mammen.

"You're not allowed to take the f---ing toaster in the room," Folbigg told her.

When Mammen protested and asked Folbigg what she was going to do about it, Folbigg punched her in the stomach, slightly winding her.

Mammen then said: "We all know why you are here."

Folbigg admitted the scuffle, but appeared shocked when shown CCTV footage because she believed her punch did not connect.

"The accused appeared genuinely remorseful in regards to her behaviour," the court document said.

"[Folbigg] expressed that she believed the victim had targeted her with her ranting and raving about her alleged crimes and had expressed that she had read about her case in books and in papers.

"[Folbigg] believed the victim was trying to incite others to participate in supporting her attack."

Corrective Services officers told police that Folbigg had never caused trouble before, and that the incident was "totally out of character".

In 2003, a NSW Supreme Court jury found Folbigg guilty of murdering three of her babies, and guilty of the manslaughter of another.

She was convicted of murdering Patrick, Sarah and Laura - aged between eight and 19 months - between 1991 and 1999 in the Hunter Valley region.

She killed her first child Caleb, who was 19 days old, in 1989.

Folbigg was also found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Patrick, leaving him blind and brain damaged for months before he was murdered.

Her high-profile trial was told she smothered her children because she could not cope with the stress of raising small children, and resented them for intruding on her life and disturbing her sleep.

"The victims of the attacks were all little children dependent upon the offender for their nurture and survival," trial judge Justice Graham Barr said.

Folbigg, who has always maintained her innocence, had her 30-year minimum term cut to 25 years on appeal in 2005.

In the years since she was jailed, questions have been raised about her conviction and whether her trial was based on flawed medical and scientific evidence, with some calling for a judicial review.

Her appeal on the assault charge will be heard in a Newcastle court at a later date.

smh.com.au