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Case dropped against accused mum

Wednesday Oct 24 11:09 AEST
The prosecution has dropped its case against a Victorian mother charged with the murders of her four young children between 1998 and 2003.

Carol Matthey, 26, from Bannockburn, south-west of Melbourne, had earlier pleaded not guilty to suffocating her two sons and two daughters aged from nine weeks to three years.

Previously, coroners had found seven-month-old Jacob and his two-month old sister Chloe died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

9RAW VIDEO: Leaving court

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Three-month-old Joshua was found to have died of a rare infection, klebsiella septicaemia, while three-year-old Shania died the day after falling off a table.

Prosecutor Ray Elston QC told the Victorian Supreme Court the Crown would not be proceeding with the case following rulings made by the court earlier this month.

The court rulings referred to are yet to be made public.

Nonetheless, Judge Justice John Couldrey said he believed the prosecution's position was entirely appropriate after he had reviewed the evidence before him.

Justice Couldrey said after reviewing the prosecution case it was his opinion the case revealed "evidentiary difficulties".

A beaming Ms Matthey left the court soon after the brief hearing and declined to talk to media.

Ms Matthey was due to face trial this month over the deaths of her four children.

She was first interviewed by police in May 2005 over the deaths of her four children which occurred between December 1998 and April 2003.

Police charged Ms Matthey with four counts of murder in February 2005.

Seven-month-old Jacob Matthey was found dead in his cot in December 1998 and his nine-week-old sister Chloe Matthey was also found dead in her cot in November 2000

Ms Matthey's three-month-old son Joshua collapsed in a supermarket car park in July 2002 and a coroner later found he died of a rare infection, klebsiella septicaemia.

The fourth death occurred a day after three-year-old Shania Matthey fell off a table.
 Ms Matthey has always maintained her innocence.
Acting Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions, Jeremy Rapke, QC said
The decision to discontinue the case was made after the trial judge's ruling that certain medical evidence was inadmissible.The prosecution case against Ms Matthey was largely based on medical evidence from interstate and international experts relating to the cause of the deaths in question
Justice Coldrey recently ruled that much of that evidence was inadmissible and invited the crown to re-assess the viability of the prosecution.
Justice Coldrey said
I have now determined that the remaining crown case is such that there is no reasonable prospect of any conviction being recorded.
İAAP 2007


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