Shock new claim about baby killer
A DOCUMENTARY exploring the case of convicted child killer Keli Lane has revealed she was offered immunity at a Coronial Inquest if she told authorities what happened to her baby.
Lane, now 43, turned down the "get out of jail free card" and maintained her story that she gave Tegan to her biological father two days after giving birth in 1996.
The child was never seen again and that inquest determined she was deceased, which led to Lane being convicted of murder.
Journalists Caro Meldrum-Hanna and Elise Worthington have delved into the bizarre story, and in Tuesday's episode of Exposed: The Case Of Keli Lane on ABC, tracked down a man who seemingly corroborates the trickiest part of Lane's defence.
During her interviews with police, Lane insisted she gave the baby to a man named Andrew Norris or Andrew Morris who she visited at a Sydney unit block multiple times to have sex.
Police at the time said they found no evidence to support her claims of an affair and that no one at the Balmain property had ever seen her.
But Meldrum-Hanna and Worthington found a former resident who said he had seen Lane leaving the building several times late at night prior to the baby's disappearance.
Darryl Henson lived at the property but returned to New Zealand in late 1996, just a month after Lane gave birth.
Appearing in the documentary, Henson identified Lane from several photographs and said definitively that he saw Lane leaving the unit block.
"I've got no reason to lie. I'd seen her coming and going through the carpark entrance, through High Street. I'm confident 100 per cent that I saw her."
Henson said he was not interviewed by police and the Exposed series revealed he was among multiple tenants at the block who were not interviewed.
As a result, his testimony was not presented at Lane's murder trial - something Henson said was unacceptable.
"The jury should've heard everything. They should've heard from me too, just to clarify I did see her."
RMIT University's Innocence Initiative director Dr Michele Ruyters has been probing the Lane case. She believes the prospect of securing a wrongful conviction ruling is high.
"If Keli Lane had been seen in the vicinity of Wisbeach St, in or without the company of Andrew Norris, that immediately suggest that her story has an element of truth," Dr Ruyters told the program.
"If this was a witness who was not previously identified and not called, that would be very compelling evidence. That would be very significant."
Tuesday's episode of the series found that police failed to obtain mobile phone records despite Lane telling investigators she remained in phone contact with the baby's father for several months.
Those records, which might have shown regular contact with the man, have since been destroyed.
And it was also revealed that Lane was offered immunity in exchange for testimony that revealed what happened to Tegan. She told the program she never entertained the idea.
"No way. No. I am not going to admit to something I didn't do. I'm not going to put my hand up and say I hurt my own child when I didn't."
Have you seen this man? Keli Lane claims it's the father of her missing baby. True? or another lie? Join the investigation and ask questions live on the @abcnews facebook page NOW https://t.co/oGESNOuCFE @ABCTV #EXPOSEDabc #KeliLane pic.twitter.com/j3uvQORIkm— Elise Worthington (@elisereports) October 2, 2018
The ABC hired a forensic sketch artist to produce a comfit of the man Lane said is baby Tegan's father - something police originally never did.
Lane was sentenced to 18 years in jail for murder and three counts of making a false statement on oath. She will be eligible for parole in 2023.
So far, Exposed has played explosive recordings of the journalists' conversations with Lane, including discussing why she lied about numerous secret unwanted pregnancies.
"The lies were around the shame or the embarrassment or the humiliation of the life I was leading not different to any other young person that makes silly choices or is covering up a part of their life," Lane told the pair.
In another conversation, Lane told Meldrum-Hanna about the last moment she had with her daughter.
"She's so beautiful and just, she's asleep and she was tucked in this … capsule. I was very upset, I was crying, and Andrew was with … his mother," she said.
"They'd obviously been sitting in the chairs waiting and they stood up as we approached. And just as they feeling of, 'Is this the right thing to do?'
"I looked at them and, not to judge, but I didn't know them."
Police have not been able to track down Andrew Norris and prosecutors at her trial successfully argued that instead of handing her baby over, she instead left hospital with her, murdered her and disposed of her body.
Lane said she still believed her daughter is alive.
Exposed: The Case of Keli Lane continues on Tuesdays at 8.30pm on ABC.