ABC’s latest investigative series, Exposed, is researching the case of convicted baby murderer Keli Lane, who maintains her innocence to this day. Lane has insisted after giving birth to Tegan at Sydney’s Auburn Hospital, she handed the baby over to the child’s father Andrew Norris, and his partner.
An ‘Andrew Norris’ has never come forward to corroborate her story, and Tegan’s body has never been found.
The DPP’s case against Lane rested on proving that all other girls born on that day were not Tegan, and the police embarked on a nationwide search of birth records and schools. Until now it was assumed The Crown completed this search, however, there were over 150 children unaccounted for at the time of trial.
On top of this, the ABC has revealed that there were nearly 8000 births going unregistered in NSW per year in the mid-1990’s. Two former public servants who worked at the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages have said that the search “was not absolutely thorough” and that there is “a huge hole” in the prosecution’s evidence.
Mark Tedeschi QC was the Crown prosecutor in the Lane case, and these newly obtained documents show Tedeschi expressed concern at the time of the trial about the big gap of information that was the 163 unaccounted for children, any one of which could be Tegan Lane.
Mr Tedeschi has since acknowledged the missing information, and in a recent statement said the defence were given reasonable time to analyse the material and the prosecution’s case did not rely on the searches alone.
"When the additional searches had been completed, the trial was adjourned by the judge for a week so that the defence would have proper opportunity to analyse the additional material that had been served," Mr Tedeschi said,
"The Crown from the beginning of the trial to the end maintained that these searches on their own could not prove that Tegan was dead.”
There has now been a formal application submitted to NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman by RMIT's Innocence Initiative, to urgently review Keli Lane’s 2010 conviction.