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The troubling Case of Keli Lane

Updated on September 19, 2013

Keli Lane

Somewhere deep inside my brain a synapse made a very small electrical connection that in turn made many more connections perhaps even millions. In turn this has triggered many thoughts and feelings about what lies ahead. Sometimes these thoughts and feelings are overwhelming as I set about this typing challenge. This is one of those cases that get my mind racing. The Case of Keli Lane.

Recently I wrote about a Mother who wanted to become pregnant at 50. You can read that hub here. In this hub I talk about the case of Keli Lane. Lane was a former Olympic Games Water Polo Player who represented Australia. During the 1990's Lane became pregnant three times and gave away two of her pregnancies; Secretly. As to the third pregnancy, the Crown contend the baby was murdered by Lane. Although to date no body has been found, a Jury has convicted her of Murder. What is called a "Circumstantial Case." Some leading Sydney lawyers believe that the case and conviction remain unsafe. What most disturbs me is why the charge of murder applied? Further, why was the charge of Murder been proved supposedly beyond reasonable doubt by the Crown. I for one remain unconvinced as did one of the Jurors, The decision was a majority verdict.which is now allowed in NSW. Rather than being charged with Infanticide or manslaughter.


I would think these are the more appropriate charges. Instead the Crown charged Lane with Murder. It seems for one it has been a long protracted case. But then the Crown Prosecutors would be wanting a plea of guilty and not a contest. Such is the practice that goes on in our adversarial system of Justice. Given there is no history of violence by Lane -that the charge of murder be out of the question. To support this rationale Lane has been a passionate caring mother to another one of her daughters.

Lane was a popular Surfer on Sydney's Northern Beach city of Manly. Her father a high ranking New South Wales Police Officer. Lane was well known and well liked in the community. Lane has never shown any signs of violence. Lane claims that the baby was taken by a former boyfriend who was the father to the child. The babies name was Tegan and the boyfriend/father apparently called Andrew Norris or Morris.

There is speculation that this case might become like another. The Azaria Chamberlain case of the 1980's in which Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of Murder of her new born daughter who she claimed was killed by a Dingo on a trip to Ayers Rock. Heaven forbid that the Keli Lane case does drag out like the Azaria Chamberlain case. It was several years later that Lindy Chamberlain was cleared of the murder of daughter Azaria Chamberlain. This followed several appeals and finally a Royal Commission which found the evidence given was poor and some of the expert evidence tainted. The case no doubt has had a lasting adverse affect to all involved in that case.

In relation to the Keli Lane case a television station has offered (A)500,000 dollars for finding the whereabouts of the baby and the former boyfriend of Kelly. Far from wanting to be pregnant it appears that Keli Lane did not want her pregnancies to become public although her motivation appears complicated. Keli's parents have reportedly aged 20 years since the start of this horrid affair. Keli maintains her innocence and remained confident throughout the Trial. To her credit Keli Lane has another daughter to another father to whom she adores and cares incredibly to that daughter. The things that weigh against Keli are the inconsistent and questionable statements she has given to the police about the whereabouts of the boyfriend who to date has been unlocatable. Further Keli had two other pregnancies in which she secretly put the children out to adoption unbeknown to her family of friends. The mind boggles. However people can act irrationally for all sorts of reasons and a rational explanation need not apply. Why men and women act irrationally every day. Nor can the conclusion be reached that she murdered her child without proof which is sadly lacking.

The sentence has now been passed. Keli Lane was sentenced to 18 years with a minimum non-parole period of 13 years and 5 months. A very long sentence indeed for the loss of your own child no matter what the circumstances.

At the Trial there was 30 some references submitted on Keli Lanes behalf suggesting positive character traits...

From one of her pupils.

I don't want to believe Miss Lane murdered Tegan.

She was the sort of teacher we all admired. She treated us with respect and we respected her in return. Mostly, I remember this: Miss Lane didn't put up with any rubbish. Everything from wagging to whingeing - she never allowed it. Not on her watch.

Like in any high school, there were two types of teachers. Those who can't control a classroom, and those who can. Miss Lane was the latter.


Infanticide is the homicide of an infant; it can describe what might amount to a cultural act or an offence defined by the victim's age. Often it is the mother who commits the act, but criminology recognizes various forms of non-maternal child murder. In many past societies, certain forms of infanticide were considered permissible. Female infanticide is more common than the killing of male offspring due to sex-selective infanticide.


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    • Nick Hanlon profile image

      Nick Hanlon 

      6 years ago from Chiang Mai

      Majority verdicts from a jury in murder trials?What an absurd law!!!

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Please feel free to comment here


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