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White Ribbon Chair apologises for controversial comments

White Ribbon has apologised on behalf of Chair, Nicholas Cowdery, on comments he made about Keli Lane

White Ribbon’s Chair has issued an apology following controversial comments he made about convicted baby killer, Keli Lane, in the ABC program Exposed.

Nicholas Cowdery QC told the ABC program that he believed Lane was not a threat to the general community because there was no risk that she would harm other children. He made reference to her sex life, which was a media controversy during her trial.

“She seemed to be a bit of a risk to the virile young male portion of the community,” Cowdery said. “That’s not grounds for putting her in prison, of course.”

Lane was convicted of killing her two-day-old baby daughter in 2010 based on circumstantial evidence, including lying about pregnancies and the disappearance of the children. The child’s body has never been found and Lane continues to maintain her innocence.

The White Ribbon Foundation issued an apology on behalf of Cowdery, titled ‘We are all accountable for the language we use, and the impact it has’.

“White Ribbon Australia’s Chair, Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, acknowledges that his comments and response to questions about Keli Lane on ABC documentary Exposed were not respectful, and he apologises,” the statement read.

“Mr Cowdery supports the need for every person to be mindful of the language that they use and the meaning it can have. Mr Cowdery agrees that in the instance of the ABC documentary he did not express himself well, and that he is accountable.”

White Ribbon CEO, Tracey McLeod Howe, wrote on Twitter that she planned to have a “robust discussion” with Cowdery when she returned.

“Not acceptable, no excuses for it. Apologies to Keli Lane particularly and women everywhere. I am ceo of @WhiteRibbonAust and when home from my current holiday with my son, a robust discussion will no doubt be had,” she wrote.

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