No appeal of sentence for woman who killed baby daugter

CONVICTED killer Keli Lane has failed to appeal the 18-year jail sentence she received for the murder of her baby daughter.

The former water polo champion launched an appeal on the grounds the jury in her 2010 trial was not given the option of finding Lane guilty of manslaughter or directed by the judge about relevant laws.

The NSW Supreme Court previously heard Lane had given birth to her daughter, Tegan, at a Sydney hospital in September 1996.

Her family, friends and the baby's father were not aware Lane had been pregnant.

When she discharged herself from hospital, Lane had Tegan with her but, just days later, she attended a wedding with no baby in tow.

No questions were raised about Tegan's existence until about three years later, when Lane gave birth to another child.

Again, her family and friends were not told of the pregnancy and Lane attempted to put the baby up for adoption.

It was also revealed she had previously adopted out child in 1995 when, once again, no one knew she was pregnant.

A concerned woman at the adoption agency contacted the Department of Community Services and, when it was discovered Lane had given birth to Tegan, the infant was listed as missing person.

Despite an extensive Australia-wide search, the girl was never found.

In the following years, Lane claimed Tegan had been sent to live with her biological father in Perth - a man she identified as Andrew Norris but investigations failed to find a person matching her description.

Eventually police charged Lane with murder - despite the evidence being circumstantial.

It was alleged that Tegan was murdered when she was about two days old.

Along with claiming the jury had not been appropriately directed, Lane's defence team argued the verdict was unreasonable and couldn't be supported by the evidence.

But a panel of three judges disagreed.

They did not accept that the evidence was weak but instead ruled "there was strong evidence that the appellant did not wish to accept responsibility for a child".

They found the verdict of guilty was open to the jury and were "satisfied that the evidence established beyond reasonable doubt the appellant's guilt of the offence".

Lane will be eligible for parole in 2024.


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