The Sue Neill-Fraser Support group is organising a vigil in Hobart’s Parliamentary Gardens tomorrow (Saturday, December 21, from 11 am), as Neill-Fraser faces her 11th Christmas in prison.
In 2010, then 56 year old Neill-Fraser was convicted and jailed for 23 years for the murder of her partner of 18 years, Bob Chappell, on board their yacht, Four Winds, on Australia Day 2009, on Hobart’s Derwent river in Sandy Bay. However, since Chappell’s disappearance, no body has been found, no murder weapon produced in evidence and there were no witnesses. The Crown produced no evidence supporting its speculation that Neill-Fraser murdered Bob Chappell with a blow to the head below decks, winched him up and into their dinghy and dumped him in the water.
Neill-Fraser has always strenuously denied her guilt.
The DNA of Meaghan Vass, then a homeless 15 year old, was found on the deck of the yacht, but in court (September 2010 and again October 2017) she denied having been on board and the DNA was dismissed as a ‘red herring’ by then DPP, Tim Ellis SC.
But in her emotional 60 Minutes interview almost nine years later (Sunday, March 10, 2019, Channel 9), Meaghan Vass finally told the truth – ‘the objective evidence backs it up’ as Robert Richter QC put it: she witnessed Bob Chappell’s murder on board Four Winds on Australia Day 2009 and it was not committed by Sue Neill-Fraser, who is serving a 23 year sentence for it.
Her new appeal has been deferred from March to May 2020.
A petition calling for an inquiry is open
The case against her is clearly non-existent and she should be released immediately. Juries are useless and should be abolished. It’s ridiculous that random people off the street, with no training, no experience, and no demonstrated ability to make decisions about guilt or innocence still do so. Here we have no weapon, no motive, no body, no witnesses and no evidence of any sort that would support this disgraceful conviction. Don’t give up Sue. Keep fighting until you prevail over the idiots responsible for your false imprisonment. And when you are released, I hope you get millions in compensation.
The jury selection is supposed to allow you to be judged by your peers, instead of some snot nosed handpicked bunch of elitists forming a quasi Star Chamber. . Its a good principle in theory, but when those jurors display a lack of depth to their critical thinking and allow common prejudices and emotions to take over, well, I wouldnt like to be judged by my peers then!
Its obviously still quite a flawed system. Notwithstanding the prosecution’s prejudicial and culpable behaviour in this potential miscarriage of justice, the buck does always stop with the jurors.
Smith must be released on bail pending appeal and now! Trial by jury was is and will remain a complete mess until reviewed formally by RC. Trial by jury is not justice, members have no idea what they are doing, ignorance is supreme and is played upon by the Crown who seek not justice but convictions.