Keli Lane has been sentenced to 18 years in prison at the NSW Supreme
Court for the murder of her baby daughter Tegan.
Her non-parole period is 13 years and five months and
she will be eligible for release on parole on May 12,
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Keli Lane ... before she dyed her hair.
Photo: Brendan Esposito
Extensive searches have uncovered no trace of Tegan
since Lane left Auburn Hospital with the girl on
September 14, 1996, two days after the birth, and went
to a wedding in Manly a few hours later.
After a four-month trial, a jury rejected Lane's
claim that she had handed Tegan over to the girl's
father, a man named Andrew Morris or Norris, with whom
she had a brief affair.
Tegan was the second of three children born to Lane
after she kept the pregnancies secret from everyone
closest to her. The two other children were adopted out.
Keli Lane's boyfriend, Patrick Cogan, at her
sentencing. Photo: Kate Geraghty
She had been a water polo player with Olympic
ambitions and prosecutors contended that, in the 1990s,
raising children did not feature in her plans.
Justice Anthony Whealy delivered his sentence to Lane
in front of video cameras.
Lane, who has dyed her blonde hair jet black, showed
no reaction as the sentence was handed down.
After the sentencing ... Keli Lane's parents
Sandra Lane, third from left in the brown jacket,
and Robert Lane, right, leave the Supreme Court.
Photo: Kate Geraghty
Agreeing with the Crown description of Lane as a
"golden girl", Justice Whealy said she had murdered
Tegan "in a situation of desperation".
"From her perception, there was simply no way out,"
he told the packed courtroom, which is the largest in
The judge concluded that Lane was fully rehabilitated
and presented no danger to the community.
He said the two aggravating features of the murder
were the age of the victim and that it had been an abuse
of a position of trust.
"The life that has been taken is a baby, completely
defenceless," he said.
"The present case may properly be seen, in every
sense, as a tragedy involving mother and daughter."
He noted the tragic fact that, for whatever reason,
Lane could not tell her own mother of the secret birth
of her three children.
"Secondly, it is a tragedy between mother and
daughter in the sense that the offender disposed of her
second child Tegan, and in so doing, tore asunder the
natural relationship between mother and daughter.
"That fact has, and will, continue to haunt her
throughout her life."