Sue Neill-Fraser appeal should be heard by mainland judges – says judge

Andrew L. Urban.

February 3, 2020: The three Tasmanian judges set to hear Sue Neill-Fraser’s new appeal in May 2020 against her 2010 conviction for the 2009 murder of her partner Bob Chappell should disqualify themselves and be replaced by interstate judges, says a former State and Federal court judge thoroughly familiar with the case.

The main rationale for his view is that in the appeal hearings, the Tasmanian judges (Justices Helen Wood, Stephen Estcourt and Robert Pearce) may be called on to consider matters concerning the trial judge, who is now their Chief Justice, Alan Blow AO. This would put them in a conflicted position.

At the trial, the judge had refused leave to recall Meaghan Vass, the homeless 15 year old whose DNA was found on the deck; Vass had earlier denied having been on board.

The then DPP Tim Ellis objected to having Vass recalled: “to get young Ms Vass back in for a bit more nasty badgering about where she was on what night would not only be pointless but totally unfair…”

His Honour agreed with the DPP: “the question of just where Meaghan Vass was and what she did on the night of the 26th of January seems to be peripheral when her version of events is unshakably, or apparently unshakably, that she did not go onto the Four Winds … In my view the prospect of Meaghan Vass giving significant evidence if we called is so slight as not to warrant the time taken to recall her.”

But in her 60 Minutes interview on March 10, 2019, Meaghan Vass admitted that she was on Four Winds with two male friends and witnessed the altercation that led to Bob Chappell’s death; Neill-Fraser was not on board. She also said she had vomited, which would have been the source of her DNA. That admission is the basis for the ‘fresh and compelling’ evidence supporting the primary ground of appeal to be heard in May. Leave to appeal under Tasmania’s new Further Right to Appeal law (passed in November 2015) was granted by Justice Brett on March 21, 2019.

A secondary consideration, says the judge, is the closely knit nature of Tasmania’s legal fraternity. This is not to question the ethics of those involved, but the silken threads of friendship are recognised as a reality of the human condition and could well make the public uneasy – especially so in this matter.

This highly controversial case has polarised Tasmania and has worried many that it is eroding confidence in the legal system, a cornerstone of democracy. Perceptions will be formed about the appeal process and the Tasmanian government would be wise to take precautions – such as outside judges – that this long awaited appeal is seen to be scrupulously fair, says the judge. Neill-Fraser has been incarcerated for more than 10 years; her first appeal was heard in 2011. And roundly criticised

Speaking exclusively to wrongfulconvictionsreport.org, the former judge thinks that the case should never have got to court, but once it did, it should have been dismissed for lack of evidentiary basis. And during the trial, there were several instances where this judge would have ruled against the prosecutor speculating about how the murder was committed. In the end, he would have directed the jury to acquit Neill-Fraser as no case was made out against her. This view is shared by the famed Chester Porter QC, among others.

Timeline of a worst case scenario – the months and years slip by ……

a flawed investigation, a guilty verdict, a failed appeal, a refused appeal, a delayed appeal

Bob Chappell on Four Winds – in happier times

26 January 2009 Bob Chappell last seen alive by his sister Anne Sanchez at breakfast and by his partner, Sue, on board their yacht, Four Winds, moored off Sandy Bay, Hobart, early afternoon.

27 January 2009 6am Four Winds low in water on mooring, Bob missing. Four Winds’ dinghy found near rowing shed rocks.

20 August 2009 Sue Neill-Fraser arrested for Bob’s murder, bail refused.

15 March 2010 DNA found on Four Winds matched to homeless 15 year old, Meaghan Vass.

21 September 2010 Trial commences in Hobart Supreme Court; Justice Blow, D. Gunson SC for the defence, T. Ellis SC for the prosecution. A terrified Vass denies she was on Four Winds.

Sue Neill-Fraser, Australia Day2009

15 October 2010 Sue is found guilty.

27 October 2010 Sue is sentenced to 26 years in prison, non parole of 13 years.

11 August 2011 Court of Criminal Appeal (Crawford CJ, Tennent and Porter JJ) hears Sue’s appeal.

6 March 2012 Appeal dismissed, but sentence reduced from 26 to 23 years.

7 September 2012 Appeal to High Court on ground of stranger’s DNA at crime scene a risk to conviction; High Court refuses to hear appeal when DPP claims that Vass’ DNA was transferred on-board, not direct deposit.

17 January 2014 Coroner’s findings support trial outcome (it has to, by law).

2 November 2015 New Right to Appeal law passed in Tasmania.

31 January 2016 Sue Neill-Fraser lodges new appeal with barrister Tom Percy QC. DPP Darryl Coates SC argues against appeal leave being granted.

20 June 2017 Sue’s lawyer Barbara Etter steps aside from the legal team. Paul Galbally steps in a little later.

21 August 2018 Third hearing before Justice Brett., seeking leave to appeal

Meaghan Vass on 60 Minutes, March 10, 2019

10 March 2019 In her 60 Minutes interview, a distraught Meaghan Vass admits that she was on Four Winds and witnessed the altercation that led to Bob Chappell’s death; Neill-Fraser was not on board.

21 March 2019 Leave is granted for a further appeal

2 August 2019 Appeal documents lodged with court (see below)

20 August 2019 10th anniversary of arrest

12 November 2019 Appeal hearing set for March 2, 2020

13 December 2019 Appeal hearing delayed till May 25, 2020

The grounds for appeal are:

Fresh and compelling evidence establishes that there has been a substantial miscarriage of justice.

Particulars:

There is fresh and compelling evidence that:

1.1: Meaghan Vass had boarded the Four Winds, and the deceased was attacked while she was on board.
1.2: Evidence led by the prosecution at trial in relation to:

1.2.1: the results of, and inferences that could be drawn from, DNA testing;
1.2.2: the results of, and inferences that could be drawn from, Luminol testing;
1.2.3: a winching reconstruction of the Four Winds was misleading.

1.3: The dinghy seen near the Four Winds around the time the deceased was attacked was not the Four Winds tender.

 

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44 Responses to Sue Neill-Fraser appeal should be heard by mainland judges – says judge

  1. Lola Moth says:

    Can someone tell me if the CORVID-19 situation is likely to have an impact on the trial of SNF? Jury trials have already been canned in Victoria and with so many witnesses and court staff possibly being in isolation for weeks at a time I can see huge problems for all court cases in the immediate future.

    Will prisoners awaiting trial but who are currently denied bail be reconsidered for bail so they are not being detained for an extended period without any way of knowing when their trials can proceed? Surely a quick rethink about the number of prisoners being held in close quarters within our prisons while this virus rages would allow for Sue to be released on bail until her trial date can be reset? Can we not demand she be released on humanitarian grounds?

  2. LB says:

    Rosemary, well said, those two words sum it up – “totally unfair” !
    This whole farce is nothing short of a scandal, a disgrace and makes a mockery of all involved in the process of “justice” in this case. I just shake my head in disbelief that it is ongoing, with Sue incarcerated, and no obvious or apparent interest in finding the (?known) perpetrators of Bob’s demise/ disappearance. Does anybody in the courts or police in Tasmania comprehend the unresolved grief that Sue and her family must be experiencing with this prolonged situation ? If this very sad case wasn’t actually happening I think it would make a good movie plot….. but would probably stretch the audience’s imagination beyond crime, alleged incompetence and cover up and into the realms of fantasy!

  3. Rosemary says:

    Days v. Weeks ‘the appeal process playbook: anyone who has attended the appeal process over the years have rightly noted that if the DPP can run the process for many days when it could have been shorter he has done so. Reasons could be a) he is so long winded, repetitive and ums and arrhs that it physically just takes longer than another person doing it. B) a strategy of the unlimited funds of the state v the limited funds of anyone going up against the state in terms of stretching out the costs over and over and over to a hopeful exhaustion of the limited funded party.

    Further in terms of estimated time required to fully thrash out the points of a case I do note the extreme disparity of what Andrew has highlighted in his blog where during Sue’s original trial the crown did not want to waste the courts time on any thing Meaghan Vass could add and keep her out of any “rigours of cross examination” by the defence.

    At the trial, the judge had refused leave to recall Meaghan Vass, the homeless 15 year old whose DNA was found on the deck; Vass had earlier denied having been on board.

    The then DPP Tim Ellis objected to having Vass recalled: “to get young Ms Vass back in for a bit more nasty badgering about where she was on what night would not only be pointless but totally unfair…”

    His Honour agreed with the DPP: “the question of just where Meaghan Vass was and what she did on the night of the 26th of January seems to be peripheral when her version of events is unshakably, or apparently unshakably, that she did not go onto the Four Winds … In my view the prospect of Meaghan Vass giving significant evidence if we called is so slight as not to warrant the time taken to recall her.”

    Oh, how the playbook reverses when it is the DPP that wishes to do some ‘nasty badgering’ with many days set aside for the ‘rigours of cross examination’ when it suits them to attempt to swing things their way.

    Weeks v days to suit which side?

    Who says justice is not political???

  4. Char Kolzow says:

    WHO are the two men who were on board when Meaghan Vass was with them and SAW
    what they did?? WHY don’t we hear anything about THEM?? Whatever they did was so HORRIBLE that she threw up as she fled the boat. It doesn’t seem too complicated to me to figure out. AND Sue Neill-Fraser has been improperly imprisoned for 10 YEARS!! This is crazy!!!!

  5. Seemingly a decade ago, justice was seen to be done, by an administration and its cringe worthy, obsequious venal cohorts. Irrespective of the true value of the truth and nothing but the truth, it more than appears an innocent woman has been unjustifiably shafted by a judicial system, and officers of the law, who obviously, professionally, leave very much to be desired. The venality of those connected with the prosecution of this case, I concur, needs to be thoroughly investigated and transparently reported upon. Regressing Australian moral and ethical standards through the manipulation of recorded evidence, to choreograph a government/public service acceptable outcome, is fundamentally farcical and not suited to a nation of 21st century values. Where reported Tasmanian values and practices stand though, looks to be quite 19th century, comfortably enveloped in colonial conspiracies and institutionalised incestuous illegitimacy.

  6. LB says:

    People appear to be sinking to a new low on this blog – wagering amounts about what seems to be largely speculation isn’t at all helpful, interesting or appropriate. Personally I find it rather distasteful. If there is nothing informative or intellectual to add, why bother commenting at all? Hmmmmmmm…. I predict that this circus may look rather foolish all too soon.

  7. Jason Collins says:

    Alan Blow became Chief Justice on 8 April 2013. Sue’s first appeal was in 2012. Her appeal was rejected even though Alan Blow wasn’t the Chief Justice then. The main issue now is whether Meaghan’s affidavit of last year was factual or false. Since that affidavit was provided a decade after Alan Blow presided over Sue’s trial in 2010 then none of the current judges on her appeal have to worry about Alan Blow and his reaction to their decision. This appeal is about fresh and compelling evidence that wasn’t available or couldn’t have been produced at the trial in 2010.

    • andrew says:

      Missing the point: the issue referred to here is that during the appeal matters may be raised regarding justice Blow’s conduct and/or decisions at trial.

  8. Diane Kemp says:

    Very interesting to see new names appearing trying to trash Andrew and his blog. My thoughts are that as the appeal grows closer, we will see more responses like those above from the naysayers. We do not have blinkers on, as for believing an Assistant Police Commissioner from Tasmania – you have to be joking !!!!!
    Methinks that the dirty tricks brigade have started or maybe they are posts from police????
    Believe what you wish but Sue is innocent and has been the subject of a corrupt system across all levels.

    • andrew says:

      Yes Diane, and you identify yourself, unlike those agitators here who identify themselves as TE, Beverly, DB, and others – previously Peter Lozo – all protecting the conviction. That is what the police and the DPP are doing. These arguments are over details in the case that are really beside the point; like this issue about the dinghy testimony. There is no witness testifying to having seen Sue Neill-Fraser boarding the Four Winds that night, so it is of no real value. But the nitpicking – like the hype about her “lying” visiting Bunnings, and the endless bickering about the fire extinguisher that was missing from the boat and would it or would it not weight a body down, that was part of prosecution speculation – is all a distraction from the hollowness of the prosecution case. I shall not publish any more such comments. As to Meaghan Vass and my complaint to the Integrity Commission, I stand by it. See it here: https://wrongfulconvictionsreport.org/2019/06/18/complaint-to-the-integrity-commission-tasmania/

  9. TE says:

    The credibility of this blogsite is in serious doubt after it was revealed that Mr Andrew Urban has consistently promoted that it was Mr Grant Maddock who was spotted at around midnight on Australia Day 2009 even though it had been brought to Mr Urban’s attention a number of times that Mr Maddock did NOT have a motor on his wooden dinghy at that time whereas the prosecution witness during Sue’s trial stated, under cross-examination by Sue’s defence attorney, that he heard an overboard motor on the (inflatable) dinghy that he saw. I refer Andrew to page 385 of the Trial Transcript. Anyone who isn’t familiar with the trial evidence would have been misled by Mr Urban’s persistent avoidance of facing up to the discrepancy that is now leading the defence team to probably ditch the ground of appeal related to Mr Maddock.

    This is from rom page 385 of the trial transcript:

    “Thank you. The dinghy was – more correctly the outboard of the dinghy was obviously making sufficient noise to draw your attention to it?……I heard it, I heard an outboard.

    Did you hear the outboard before you sighted the dinghy?……I can’t remember.

    At fifty metres away from it you could clearly hear the engine as it – as the dinghy went along?……Yes.

    And it was reasonably loud to where you were?……It wasn’t a roaring noise but I could hear the outboard. “

    • andrew says:

      The relevance of this witness testimony about a figure in a dinghy at midnight heading in the direction of Four Winds is totally irrelevant to the charge of murder against Sue Neill-Fraser. It proves nothing, whether it was Mr Maddock or not, whether it was a motor or not…. waste of time even talking about it.

      • TE says:

        The critical issue is that since no-one called TasPol to inform them that he/she was the person who was on a MOTORISED inflatable dinghy travelling past the Rowing Shed late at night on Australia Day 2009 then it is beyond a reasonable doubt that the person who was spotted by the prosecution witness (Mr Hughes) is the killer of Mr Chappell. Your readers, if they are interested in the TRUTH of who killed Mr Chappell, ought to be very curious about the identity of that person. Who would have a need to be on a dinghy, a motorised inflatable dinghy, at around midnight heading out North East on Australia Day. Who lied about not going out to Marieville Esplanade late at night, about the same time a ‘female figure’ was spotted on a motorised inflatable dinghy?

    • Beverly says:

      If it wasn’t Grant Maddock who was spotted by Mr Hughes then it must have been Sue Neill-Fraser on her inflatable dinghy heading out to Four Winds sometime between 11:30 pm and midnight.

    • Garry Stannus says:

      I’ve looked at Mr Hughes’ evidence a number of times. I think that it is possible that he heard the noise of Mr Brettingham-Moore’s power boat which was trying to find a way into the marina that night, but abandoned the attempt and anchored just outside the marina. This was quite close to where Mr Hughes saw the dinghy. Careful re-reading of Mr Hughes’ evidence suggests that he heard what he later called an outboard motor, before he saw the dinghy. The same re-reading suggests also that he did not actually see an outboard on the dinghy, but heard ‘it’ – heard a noise and associated it with the dinghy when it came into view.

      Mr Hughes was very circumspect in the evidence that he gave. Mr Hughes qualified many of his statements with these words and expressions:
      sometimes
      occasionally
      probably
      fairly late
      may have gone
      can’t remember exactly
      between half past eleven and twelve o’clock
      may have got out of the car at some stage
      I would have been standing next to
      I would have got out of the car…
      probably only a few minutes
      I wouldn’t have been anymore than twenty minutes, half an hour
      it was reasonably quiet
      it was about three to four to five metres
      paid “not a great deal of attention to it”.
      at least fifty metres out”, possibly further, though “not to a great extent”.
      It “may have passed between a few yachts”
      The person had the outline of a female, but [he couldn’t] be definite
      he[didn’t] remember any vehicles parked there
      [he couldn’t] remember though
      was almost 100% definite.

      It seems fair to make the comment that Mr Hughes was a person not given to making outright statements and/or that he was in the court trying to honestly allow for the possibility that his memory/impressions could have been faulty.

      Last comment for the moment: Mr Hughes has said words to the effect that (in his memory) there were no cars or persons on the rowing club ‘spit’ when he was there. This should be contrasted with the various court evidence/police information that
      -homeless Stephen Gleeson’s yellow car was there, that
      -there was an apparently-abandoned SUV there (possibly belonging to the woman who’d gone to NZ for a family funeral – she returned in the March of 2009)
      -Stephen Gleeson was there (asleep in his car/cooking sausages for his late-night visitors on a gas-cooker):
      -Adam Yaxley (perhaps in actuality, it was Sam Devine) was there along with
      -a young girl.
      -Susan Neill-Fraser was there: she picked up her car from Marieville Esplanade, swung it onto the first part of the ‘spit’ (near the line of mooring poles) and shone the headlights out in the direction of the Four Winds but could see nothing. She did not drive further down the spit, because she could see some figures standing around a fire-pot or some such thing [presumably Gleeson and his two late night visitors.].

      Post Script: Maddock at that time kept a push bike chained to one of the three trees that grow on another little ‘spit’ between the rowing sheds spit and the RYCT marina. His own boat was anchored out past the marina. Returning from the supermarket (it was – and still is – open till midnight) his dinghy was waiting for him at the tiny ‘beach’ beyond the Chandlery. He either sculled or rowed past that point where Mr Hughes was inside or outside his car (Mr Hughes couldn’t remember which) went out to his own boat but hearing Brettingham-Moore’s motor, went over to it to offer assistance. There has been information in the past that Mr Hughes’ first (phone?/interview) conversation with police was that the dinghy was rowed, not powered. I can’t verify this – I’d need access to the police records – which I don’t have.

      • andrew says:

        I admire your attention to detail, Garry, and your thorough exploration. At the same time, I think (and always have) that Mr Hughes’ evidence was really a beat-up by the prosecution, to make it seem relevant and somehow important to their case. “See, she was going out to the boat …” But unless Mr Hughes or someone else had seen Sue Neill-Fraser board – or on board – Four Winds at that time, it is quite irrelevant. Whether he or she was rowing or motoring a wooden or inflatable dinghy does not convince me that the accused was on her way to do murder some 300 metres away in the dead of night.

  10. Gilbert & Sandra Andrews (Queensland) says:

    You word against the word of an Assistant Police Commissioner? You must have blinkers on Mr Urban.

    • Garry Stannus says:

      Gilbert and Sandra (Queensland) must have forgotten … Simon Overland (ex Commissioner of Police – Victoria) who last year told a corruption commission that he did not keep diaries … then was confronted with three of his diaries which a ‘mate’ had kept till the right moment. Russ Hinze, Minister for Police who resigned from Parliament after the ‘Midnight State’ Fitzgerald Inquiry revelations. So too with Queensland’s 14th Police Commissioner, Terence Lewis, who was sentenced to 25 years jail for corruption [https://www.police.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-08/List%20of%20Qld%20Police%20Commissioners%201864-2019.pdf] Need I go further?

      You wrote: “You [sic] word against the word of an Assistant Police Commissioner? You must have blinkers on Mr Urban.” Sounds a little to me, of a case of the ‘pot calling the kettle black’.

      It is possible that your remark was ‘tongue in cheek’ and that you weren’t really saying that an Assistant Police Commissioner’s word should be believed over that of a Mr Urban. If I have misunderstood your remark, I’m sorry for having done so. Tones of irony can be recognised in conversation perhaps more easily than in text.

  11. DB says:

    Andrew Urban, We can discuss the validity of your complaint on the first day of Meaghan’s appearance under oath in the supreme court. On the basis of the public information so far, I am offering you a $1,000 wager that your complaint was unjustified.

  12. Tony Brownlee says:

    This garbage trial does not for one moment Come as any surprise to
    Me. The 1889 jury system is as of 2020 highly flawed. It does not represent the intention of the Framers of Section 80 one bit! As Kirby J. Stated in Brownlee v The Queen the constitution is evolving, otherwise of course an openly gay, very good man, would never end up sitting in the HC of A! Even though this was a state matter the issues prevail in all jury trials. Jurors have no idea as to their responsibilities! They are thrown in the deep end. Many who have approached me, not in them, have said the same thing! In many cases jurors have stated: they believed they had an obligation to convict! Each state should hire a fixed pool of full time jurors. They would still be representative of the community but would be educated as to the law, which is missing!!!

  13. Beverly says:

    Does it really matter who the appeal court judges are given that the main ground of appeal concerns whether or not Meaghan Vass boarded Four Winds? Sue’s lawyer has allocated 10 days just to this first ground. If Meaghan says in the court that she was on Four Winds when one of her then associates attacked Bob then Sue will be released. Otherwise, Sue’s appeal is very likely to fail.

    • DB says:

      That is exactly my thought, Beverly. So much has been made about Meaghan’s confession on 60 Minutes. It is now time to put the credibility of that confession to the rigour of cross-examination in the court. I think it very odd that the defence would want 10 days for a discussion about the first ground of appeal. This length of time wouldn’t be required by the defence team had they been confident that Meaghan will stick by her 60 Minutes affidavit.

      • andrew says:

        Actually, it was the DPP who wanted 2 weeks…This is our report published November 13, 2019: Justice Helen Wood has set the date for appeal against Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction, for March 2 – 13, 2020, after DPP Darryl Coates estimated it would take two weeks; Neill-Fraser’s lawyer, Chris Carr, had estimated just 3 – 4 days.

  14. Tom Cairns says:

    There is a classic line from the old movie “In the Heat of the Night” when Sidney Poitier is asked what he is doing here:
    “They’ve got a murder they don’t know what to do with.”

  15. Williambtm says:

    I Have already been enabled to learn the facts, that no fulsome pristine case decisions can be an expectation from or by Tasmania’s Supreme Court.

  16. Robin Bowles says:

    Justice must not only be done, but he seen to be done! Never did this apply more aptly! Of course the appeal should be heard by judges not tainted by the long arms of the Establishment in Tasmania. How is this Appeal bench going to rule against their boss? In order for an appeal to be successful, the Appellant must show that the decision maker erred factually or legally, affecting the outcome of the case. An Appeal is not a new trial or a rehearing. For the Appeal to succeed, the Appeal judges must agree that the trial judge got it wrong. That’ll go down like a lead balloon in Establishment circles!

    • Diane Kemp says:

      Agree Robin. The Chief Justice must not be allowed to be seen as making a mistake with this case. I fear for the outcome for Sue if Tasmania does not bring in judges from outside but given the bloody mindedness that has been clearly demonstrated, I do not believe they will budge. Why can’t Justice Brett sit on the panel – at least he appears to be able to make well informed judgements without any bias??

  17. Geraldine Allen says:

    Andrew, I notice that a Committal Hearing is not listed in your chronology. In more recent times I’ve become particularly interested in what transpired at this SN-F hearing, since it is claimed as a process that plays an “important role” in our justice system.

    “… The collective view of our members is that committals are essential to a fair trial of serious charges. This is not because of lawyerly self-interest – in fact without committals, more jury trials would be heard, and they would be longer. We believe, and the Victorian Law Reform Commission acknowledges, that it is crucial to ensuring a fair trial that there are some forms of pre-trial proceedings. …” (Criminal Bar Association of Victoria.)

    “… A fair and efficient trial is not only essential for all accused, but also reduces delay and inconvenience for complainants, other witnesses and juries. Experience shows that late disclosure of important evidence by the police is a major cause of delay. A key purpose of committals is to ensure proper disclosure. …”

    “… Committals allow independent scrutiny of the evidence, separate from the police investigation, before an accused faces trial. This key benefit protects the right of an accused to receive a fair trial. Committals frequently resolve factual disputes between the prosecution and defence and allow cases to resolve appropriately and on an accurate factual basis before a trial date is allocated. …”

    “…Experience shows that committals:
    —enhance the efficiency of the criminal justice system by reducing the length of jury trials
    — facilitate efficient use of court time
    — ensure the fair trial rights of accused persons
    — contribute to early resolution of cases
    — dispose of cases with insufficient evidence to support a conviction, and
    — improve early disclosure of the police case.
    It should be remembered that any person accused of a serious crime is presumed innocent. It is in this context that committals continue to play an important role in Victoria’s justice system. That’s why the Criminal Bar Association supports their retention. …”
    Full article
    https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/27376-committals-are-essential-to-our-justice-system

  18. Keith says:

    Surely if the appeal fails, it will be grounds for a further appeal? The Tasmanian legal system couldn’t be so stupid could they? If past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour, then I suppose it’s inevitable.

    • Robin Bowles says:

      Yes an appeal against the outcome (if unsuccessful) is possible, provided the pro bono team will keep fronting up indefinitely. Perhaps the DPP and Co are just counting on her continuing to appeal until her minimum time is served, then let her out and wash their hands of it all- no compo, no apology, no blame. A bit like Graham Stafford, or John Button, or many others I could mention.

      • Geraldine Allan says:

        Andrew Mallard. That story is wicked, wicked, wicked. Cover-up after cover-up.
        I feel so increasingly angry about that state of affairs to which those who are elected to oversight, turn a blind eye & deaf ear.

  19. Brian Johnston says:

    7 September 2012 Appeal to High Court on ground of stranger’s DNA at crime scene a risk to conviction; High Court refuses to hear appeal when DPP claims that Vass’ DNA was transferred on-board, not direct deposit.

    DPP claims DNA was transferred. He had no knowledge? or did he. Was he ignorant or knowing. We the people had been led to believe a small amount of DNA may have been traipsed onto the boat, chewing gum?. We then learn it was about the size of a dinner plate. Then we learn vomit.
    DPP should be charged for saying DNA was transferred. Misleading?, more likely deceitful, worse than dishonest.

  20. LB says:

    This has been raised before. To have three judges deliberating on matters and reviewing decisions made by the current Chief Justice is totally inappropriate! Even IF there are no conflicts of interest, the perception that there is insufficient distance between these officers of the court in such a small jurisdiction should be enough to not even have this situation as a remote consideration!

    Yet another failure of the system in Tasmania!
    Simply appalling!
    Wake up Tasmania!

  21. Fiona Peate says:

    I agree absolutely with everything this ex State & Federal judge has suggested. I am not a legal person but common sense made me think from the outset that any Tasmanian judges who work to Chief Justice Alan Blow would be conflicted.

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