Legal Profession Board wrongly dismisses Vass complaint against Wright

Andrew L. Urban.

The tumultuous end (in March 2021) to the latest appeal* against her murder conviction by Sue Neill-Fraser, was detonated by an unfulfilled undertaking from Stuart Wright, the lawyer assigned to key witness Meaghan Vass. Vass complained to Tasmania’s Legal Profession Board, whose dismissal of it (three months later), reveals the dismissal to have been based on a disturbing mischaracterisation of the complaint.

In the lead up to the March 1-3, 2021, appeal in Hobart’s Supreme Court, Meaghan Vass, her friend and support Andy Brown, and her newly attached lawyer Stuart Wright met. “It was me, him and Meaghan in the room,” Brown told us. “There was an affidavit from 2012, one from 2019, and all Meaghan said was, “Can you guarantee me, promise me that what’s said in these or mentioned about anything in these and the names will not get out to media and it will be kept in here?” He stood there with his one hand on one document, one hand on the other, leaned over the table, he goes, ‘I can 100% guarantee it, Megan.’”

Yet the headline on the front page of the next day’s Hobart Mercury proclaimed ‘SAM DID IT” – exactly what Vass was afraid of, her testimony revealing who she was with at the crime scene, on board the Four Winds yacht, making her feel like a target. The court issued a suppression order immediately, but of course, it was too late.

When we contacted Wright at the time, he declined to comment.

Brown (who jointly filed the complaint) had told the Legal Profession Board in her written reply to Wright’s defensive claims: “I received an email from the head reporter from the Hobart Mercury saying he had no idea why there wasn’t any suppression and it was a shock that the paper was allowed to print the names but then they had to recant later that evening. … Mr Wright single handedly unravelled that appeal by not protecting his client.”

The complaint to the Legal Profession Board was received March 9, 2021; the matter was heard on May 31, 2021, determined on June 7, 2021, and dismissed under S433 (1)(a) – as ‘misconceived’. We suggest it is the Board’s ‘Reasons’ that are misconceived. Below are the relevant paragraphs from the notice of dismissal of the appeal, followed by our responses:

39 “There are no facts before the Board which could establish that the Practitioner was engaged by or on behalf of the Witness to attempt to control the publication of evidence which she might give in the course of the hearing.”
No, this is a disturbing mischaracterisation. The Practitioner was not expected to ‘control publication of evidence’; the Witness wanted an assurance that the names of those persons who the Witness was going to identify in court would not be made public. As the solicitor helping the Witness in court, the Practitioner was reasonably expected to act in a professional manner and to perform his service in accordance with court procedures. Suppression orders are fairly common and are not regarded as ‘controlling the publication of evidence’.

40 – “It is common ground that prior to the hearing the Complainant had asked the Practitioner whether the statutory declaration made by the Witness would be released by the Court. The Practitioner informed the Complainant that it would not be released. Even if that request was on behalf of the Witness rather than the Complainant, it did not extend to engagement with respect to the suppression of any evidence.”
No, this is also a disturbing mischaracterisation of the facts. The Practitioner gave “100% guarantee” that the names of those persons who the Witness was going to identify in court would not be made public.

41 “Further, the material before the Board makes it clear that the only practitioners acting in that capacity before the Court, were those on behalf of the prosecution and of the defendant. The Practitioner was appointed to assist the Witness and the Court, The Practitioner was not entitled to, and had no standing to, make any application with respect to suppression of evidence.”
This reads like a transparent attempt to protect the Practitioner from the allegation of professional misconduct. The Board surely knows that as a professional solicitor, the Practitioner would recognise that to give effect to his undertaking he was required to advise the Witness’ instructing solicitor, Paul Galbally, of his undertaking to the Witness and to request Galbally (probably via Tom Percy QC representing Neill-Fraser) to put the request to the bench according to normal court procedures. And at no time did the Practitioner advise the Witness that he could not execute the task requested of him and which he agreed to execute with his own ‘100% guarantee’.

The Legal Profession Board’s submission seems to have made Stuart Wright, the Practitioner, appear dishonest, by claiming that he made a statement to the Witness that turned out to be fraudulent, accepting a task he was not able to carry out. That was not the allegation made against him. The allegation was that his failure to execute his ‘guarantee’ constituted unprofessional conduct. The LPB’s report compounds the actual error by disingenuous argument. In the Board’s attempt to justify the Practitioner’s conduct as professional, the Board has arguably underlined the complaint and undermined its own credibility.

* The appeal judges have reserved their decision to a date to be announced.

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36 Responses to Legal Profession Board wrongly dismisses Vass complaint against Wright

  1. Andy says:

    All i can say is this is all making me angrier and deflated all at once. I don’t know where to go from here but something needs to happen. Surely the legal practitioners board have someone to answer to?
    Just for the record meaghan and her partner saw sam and his partner in hobart just this morning and were abused and followed from one end of hobart to the other.
    So whos to blame for that i wonder and would they even care.
    Disgusting bunch of people is all they can be described as. They make my stomach turn and id rather know the so called bikie underworld anyday than be near the likes of these twisted so called lawyers and people involved in keeping this locked up and sue locked away.

  2. Williambtm says:

    Tasmania’s Legal Professional Board (LPB) has twice been denied the comfort of a decision in their favor, as had been handed down by the presiding judge.
    One case matter was alight and brightly burning with flames fueled by the extreme bias held by the LPB (Nope, no decision in their favor)
    The other case matter was in a similar vein.

    I am fully familiar with a prior supposed LPB investigation… into the improprieties of a Launceston legal practitioner, in my reading, all the reasonings had amounted to a telephone ring around among a small group of Launceston’s brotherhood of lawyers.
    A rather piss-poor investigation. Ostensibly, we all should better understand the cronyism extant in Tasmania’s LPB.

  3. Jenny says:

    What matters is what was said in the court, not what Meaghan told you.

    It appears that Meaghan distress started after her friend was asked to leave the room. The distress esalated after Justice Wood cautioned Meaghan that she will be prosucted if she provides a false testimony in response to questions by the DPP.

    • Geraldine Allan says:

      Jenny your understanding of when and why Meaghan’s distress started and increased, is inaccurate.

      My observation from public gallery accords with the transcript. In fact Wood J was quite generous in her explanation about indemnity. It was obligatory to explain that it didn’t extend to any false evidence given in CCA hearing. Meaghan Vass appeared to already know accept that, without further ado.

  4. Geraldine Allan says:

    Further to my two comments below, posted June 14, 2021, in which I refer to CCA transcript excerpts and, quoted some, I continued attempting to make sense of LPBT decision reasons.

    It seems to me a worthwhile exercise to think about the following excerpts, in the context of those reasons.

    I stay with the format of the transcript: –

    NEILL-FRASER v STATE P-3 THEIR HONOURS HOBART 1.3.21 COUNSEL
    Pages 3 & 4, commencing line 26,

    25
    WOOD, J: And what is the order that you seek?
    MR RICHTER QC: The order is that the evidence of Meaghan Vass
    be given by the remote witness facility on audio and video.
    30
    WOOD, J: Any other orders sought such as the presence of any people?
    MR RICHTER QC: That she not have anyone in the room with her.
    35 She has had, as we understand it, legal advice from a solicitor, that may become relevant, but at the moment we – we, for our part, would not object to her having a solicitor sitting in with her, if that gives her
    comfort and we have no objection to that, but that is all.
    40 WOOD, J: So that she is to be alone in the remote witness room, is that the proposal and the order sought?
    MR RICHTER QC: Yes, your Honour, yes.
    45 WOOD, J: I see. The other – perhaps another option in relation to NEILL-FRASER v STATE P-33 M. VASS
    HOBART 1.3.21 EXD MR RICHTER QC
    is that the solicitor be in the Courtroom here and available and, in fact, if the solicitor had any concerns, the solicitor could raise those with the Court directly. …

    DISCUSSION BETWEEN HER HONOUR WOOD, J AND ASSOCIATE
    And pages 4 & 5 …

    40 DISCUSSION BETWEEN HER HONOUR WOOD, J AND ASSOCIATE
    WOOD, J: Well, pursuant to s81 the court is satisfied that the course
    proposed is appropriate and that Meaghan Vass be permitted to give
    45 her evidence from the remote witness room. The court is satisfied of the foundation for that measure pursuant to s81(b) either (b)(1) or
    (b)(2) having been satisfied in this case Ms Vass is permitted to give evidence from the remote witness room with court attendant Mr Grubb present during the proceedings. And there’s no need for this order but it’s anticipated that her solicitor will be present within this courtroom
    5 and available to provide her with legal advice if appropriate.

    There’s more!
    WOOD J consulting with MR WRIGHT
    NEILL-FRASER v STATE P-33 M. VASS HOBART 1.3.21 EXD MR RICHTER QC
    Page 33, line 1
    WOOD, J: -and, give her those options. Before we do that, are there any matters that you would wish to raise?
    MR WRIGHT: Ah, no nothing-
    5
    WOOD, J: -following on from the matters the court raised this morning. So, aside from this single issue, we’re ready to proceed with Ms Vass’ evidence it would seem.
    10 MR WRIGHT: Thank you, your Honour.

  5. Jenny says:

    Mr Urban,

    You seem to be only wanting to publish comments that claim that the publication of names on the 2nd day of the appeal is the reason why Meaghan was distressed.

    I just read a news article where it clearly states that Meaghan was too distressed on the first day of the appeal:

    “The court adjourned early on Monday after Ms Vass’s solicitor told the court his client was too distressed to continue.”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-06/what-happened-at-susan-neill-fraser-appeal/13219428

    I am opinion that something happened on the first day of the appeal that caused Meaghan a lot of distress.

    • andrew says:

      Meaghan Vass has been distressed at every court appearance. see this interview extract: Q: You were terribly upset in court; what upset you most? Why did you agree to the propositions he put to, contradicting what you had said earlier?
      A: The entire subject makes me upset.
      https://wrongfulconvictionsreport.org/2021/03/26/meaghan-vass-the-aftermath-interview-2/

    • andrew says:

      Just a note re your comment : “Mr Urban, You seem to be only wanting to publish comments that claim that the publication of names on the 2nd day of the appeal is the reason why Meaghan was distressed.” You are jumping to conclusions; no-one else is commenting to say otherwise… except you. Maybe if you had been in court ….

      • Geraldine Allan says:

        Agree. The misinformation and supposition being published as fact, is concerning. One can but wonder for what objective?

        • Jenny says:

          The objective was to present a valid point of view that the publication of Meaghan’s alleged associates isn’t the real reason why Meaghan recanted, but that the real reason for the recantation is the fact that after Mr Richter examined Meagan she was cautioned by Justice Wood that Meaghan will be prosecuted if she were to provide false information under cross-examination.

  6. Geraldine Allan says:

    Following on from my previous post this day, Thus, to any confused reader, and I suggest there are several, considering the LPBT published decision, the BIG question I am asking myself is— was Mr WRIGHT invalidly or even fraudulently representing Meaghan Vass, and if so, does this invalidate the CCA hearing?

    It seems to me in his lead article, Andrew Urban has posed the same question in different terms

    Page 1 of the CCA transcript reads, MR WRIGHT FOR MS MEAGHAN VASS

    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TASMANIA
    WOOD, J ESTCOURT, J PEARCE, AJ
    SUSAN BLYTH NEILL-FRASER v
    STATE OF TASMANIA
    TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS FOR 1ST MARCH 2021
    APPEARANCES:
    MR RICHTER SC, MR CARR SC AND MR SMALLWOOD FOR THE APPELLANT
    MR COATES SC AND MR SHAPIRO FOR THE RESPONDENT
    MR WRIGHT FOR MS MEAGHAN VASS

    Staying with formatting of transcript, Page 18
    WOOD, J: Now I’m not sure whether – what the Court said this morning has been conveyed to Ms Vass’ solicitor, who I understand may be Mr Stuart Wright – thank you. The Court indicated this
    25 morning that if you wish you can remain in the Courtroom, you will be able to see Ms Vass giving her evidence, and there may be a need, it’s been anticipated there may be a need for Ms Vass to have legal advice –
    30 MR WRIGHT: Yes.
    WOOD, J: – during the course of her evidence. If that time arises and it hasn’t been anticipated by the Court please feel free to – to indicate that to us, that you consider that there is that need.
    35
    MR WRIGHT: Thank you, your Honour.
    WOOD, J: So, I mean just please take a seat where you can hear
    clearly her evidence and give that indication. Yes, ready to proceed 40 Mr Richter?
    P20 line 33
    WOOD, J: Well, I suggest that Mr Wright gets involved at this point

    P20 @ 33
    WOOD, J: Well, I suggest that Mr Wright gets involved at this point and –
    P27 @ 21
    WOOD, J: – in relation to this topic. And I’m just going to – before I ask you to answer that question whether you have an objection, I really want to emphasise that you’re lawyer, Mr Wright, is in court; he’s heard what I’ve said; he’s available to you immediately to give
    25 you some legal advice. And what we would now do, if you wish, is – is take a short break so that you can speak to Mr Wright about your position. So, Mr Wright is –
    MS VASS: Yes, may we do that?
    30
    WOOD, J: Yes, certainly. All right. Yes, Mr Wright, you’re – you’re able to proceed –
    MR WRIGHT:
    Thanks, your Honour, I’ll do that.
    – immediately to Ms Vass, and we’ll await your
    MR WRIGHT:
    WOOD, J: Thank you.
    MR WRIGHT is mentioned/referred to in pages 28,29,30,32,33,57.
    P57
    UPON RESUMPTION;
    WOOD, J: Yes, Mr Wright?
    5 MR WRIGHT: Your Honour, my client has asked me to make an application before the Court, due to her distress that she’s in, she wishes to seek to adjourn her evidence until tomorrow morning, but I’m in your Honour’s hand (indistinct word)
    10 WOOD, J: Right, so it’s distress rather than a medical condition of any kind?
    MR WRIGHT: I couldn’t say it’s a medical condition, no, your
    Honour. 15
    WOOD, J: Alright.
    MR WRIGHT: I could say that she’s certainly more stressed than she
    has been at any part of the day today. I mean I’ve been able to calm 20 her down but I wasn’t successful then.

    Continuing, MR WRIGHT is mentioned/referred to in pages 58,61,62,64,65,66,67,69.72,91

    Staying with formatting of transcript, page 91
    WOOD, J: Thank you, Mr Richter. Thank you. Well, we propose
    5 then to relieve Ms Vass, and I understand the parties are in agreement about that course being appropriate. We just note that Mr Wright is not present, and it might be useful to have his attendance in relation to the certificate and also the question of the suppression order. And it would seem that that can now be lifted, but we ought to hear from Mr
    10 Wright. So, could he be located? He may be available.

    92,93
    So, in terms of the suppression order, I don’t think we need to delay the parties. I think having relieved Ms Vass, I’ll hear from counsel in a moment about when they’d like to resume, if they need a break or whether they’re wanting to proceed. But, we might resume with Mr
    15 Wright in terms of just finalising that suppression order and counsel are relieved or may attend if they wish to. But, we’ll perhaps allow five or ten minutes for that purpose. So, we give you that relieve Mr Wright, and if you are able to return that would be useful thank you. So, in terms of the balance of proceedings, Mr Richter you’ve indicated
    20 that you’d like an adjournment in terms of the calling of the witness-

    95
    WOOD, J: Now, Mr Wright, we have you –
    5 MR CANGELOSI: I appear for Ms Vass on instructions from Mr Wright.

    • Jenny says:

      Can you please provide the link to the transcript?

    • Rosemary says:

      I would chip in, in my view extreme stress is a medical condition.

      • Jenny says:

        I am interested in knowing the exact point in the proceedings when Wood J warned Meaghan what will happen if she were to provide false testimony.

        My understanding so far is that the warning was made on the first day of the appeal. However, I don’t know at what stage of the proceedings this occurred. The reason I am interested in this is because if the warning came after Meaghan was examined then this could have started Meaghan’s distress. I am aware that Meaghan was distressed on the first day of the appeal.

      • Jenny says:

        One needs to examine the court proceedings to determine at what point in time was Meaghan showing signs of distress. To my knowledge, she was showing strong distress before the end of the first day of the appeal.

  7. Geraldine Allan says:

    I’m totally confused with the LPBT decision, and reasons as published re Mr WRIGHT.

    Being in attendance at the CCA hearings, it was my recollection that WOOD J issued a suppression (until further order so that this can be revisited during the proceedings), on application from Mr WRIGHT. I checked my hand-written notes from that day; they accorded with my recollection. Then, I revisited the transcript. Unless I am gravely misinterpreting what I read, this record also accords with my recollection of the suppression order application and subsequent granting.

    Excerpts as quoted in Andrew Urban’s lead article: –
    39 – “There are no facts before the Board which could establish that the Practitioner was engaged by or on behalf of the Witness to attempt to control the publication of evidence which she might give in the course of the hearing.”

    Geraldine Allan comment — Unlike the published decision of the LPBT, it seems to me that the CCA bench accepted Mr Wright as having legal standing sufficient to make the application.

    40 – “It is common ground that prior to the hearing the Complainant had asked the Practitioner whether the statutory declaration made by the Witness would be released by the Court. The Practitioner informed the Complainant that it would not be released. Even if that request was on behalf of the Witness rather than the Complainant, it did not extend to engagement with respect to the suppression of any evidence.”

    Geraldine Allan comment — Is this nought but gobbledygook?

    41 – “Further, the material before the Board makes it clear that the only practitioners acting in that capacity before the Court, were those on behalf of the prosecution and of the defendant. The Practitioner was appointed to assist the Witness and the Court, The Practitioner was not entitled to, and had no standing to, make any application with respect to suppression of evidence.”

    Geraldine Allan comment — Yeah? Why then did the bench judges accept Mr Wright’s application, and, then grant it. Was this process invalid?

    For the benefit of the reader, I include the relevant excerpt, commencing page 61 CCA transcript.

    NEILL-FRASER v STATE P-61 THEIR HONOURS 2.3.21 COUNSEL
    Line 29…
    MR WRIGHT: The first one is, my client would like to make an 30 application for an independent support person to be present with her today. The support person’s name is Cassandra – excuse me I will – Cassandra Dowling, who she met yesterday and she established a good rapport with her. So, if the Court if minded to make that order, that’s the order that would be sought. And I have a second issue
    – 35
    WOOD, J: Just in relation to Cassandra Dowling, she’s from an independent witness support organisation, is that – perhaps Mr –
    MR COATES SC: Your Honour, she’s employed by Victims of Crime 40 in the Justice Department.
    WOOD, J: Thank you. Yes, and your second application or matter?
    MR WRIGHT: The second application is I would seek, your Honour, it’s caused Ms Vass distress in terms of having some media reporting of the persons who she named that were present with her on the boat …
    …Page 62
    yesterday, and I’ve been instructed to seek a suppression order in relation to further publications of the people who were present with her on the vessel, and my submission is, it would certainly assist her in giving her evidence today if she had that comfort from the Court.
    5
    WOOD, J: So there has been coverage of that already?
    MR WRIGHT: Yes, there has been.
    10 WOOD, J: So effectively, the order would be that there be no further –
    MR WRIGHT: Yes.
    15 WOOD, J: – publishing of details of persons with Meaghan Vass on board the vessel or perhaps –
    MR WRIGHT: Yes.
    20 WOOD, J: – with her at the material time on the 26th January, the key date.
    MR WRIGHT: Yes.
    25 WOOD, J: Mr Coates?
    MR COATES SC: Well, there is a significant amount of public interest in this. They’ve already been named. Generally you would hear from the media in relation to it.
    30
    WOOD, J: Well, we’re only talking about –
    MR COATES SC: It doesn’t prejudice the Crown, of course.
    35 WOOD, J: – The Court’s present inclination is just to make an order until further order so that this can be revisited during the proceedings. The concern that’s expressed may lapse once Ms Vass has given her evidence. It might just be a concern that relates to the duration of her evidence, and it might be that there are other legitimate considerations
    40 that arise for our consideration later in these proceedings. So, an order until further order in the terms that I’ve expressed. You don’t wish to speak against that at this stage, Mr Coates?
    MR COATES SC: No. No, certainly not, your Honour. 45
    WOOD, J: All right. Mr Richter?
    Page 63…
    MR RICHTER QC: I would support that having what we’ve seen of Ms Vass anything that can be done to eliminate additional psychiatric or psychological pressure that she may feel is essential, and this will
    5 be a temporary suppression which may give her comfort, so I’d support that.
    WOOD, J: Mm, all right. Well, the court makes an order in terms that I have expressed until further order suppressing that information. 10 And you’re content with the –
    ESTCOURT, J: Mm hmm.
    WOOD, J: -s8 order? You’re content with that? 15
    ESTCOURT, J: Mm.

  8. Robin Bowles says:

    The Legal Profession Board of Tasmania (which I call the Legal Protection Board of Tasmania as a joke, because they ARE a joke!) is the perfect example of a bureaucratic toothless tiger. Because of the unwritten rules protecting the Establishment in Tasmania, they are not interested in complaints from the public about their members, who form the Establishment that they protect. I complained about a very Establishment lawyer who ripped off my mother’s Estate For about $65000 and they did nothing for months, then dismissed my complaint. No case to answer, no money to repay! I had to go to the Supreme Court ( in front of Justice Blow, as a coincidence) to get any sort of satisfaction and won my case. At least the lawyer was forced to ‘retire’ and he hasn’t practised law since.
    Poor Meaghan! Anyone who saw her desperation in the witness box would understand how she felt when she saw her evidence published on the front page of the Mercury newspaper. The DPP was in his element, determined to crucify her and why wouldn’t he be, if you think of the huge responsibility riding on his shoulders to make sure his bosses’ decisions to a) incarcerate Sue in the first place with NOT A SHRED of evidence and b) who continue to rely on Mr Coates to keep her locked up. It was not Coates’s finest performance, with even the Judge intervening at times to enable Meagan to catch her breath between the barrage of questions, some of which, being totally argumentative, were greeted by intakes of shock or dismay from the Sue Supporters in the Court. These gasps were so noticeable at times that the lead judge gently admonished the onlookers, saying, ‘Mr Coates is doing his job.’ Well, he certainly did a job on Meghan and her ‘legal advisor’, who was given several opportunities to visit his client during her evidence and give or bring back information, did nothing to protect her. Then he brought in the big guns of Fabiano Cangelosi, to argue with the media about a suppression order. Too late, Sam was out of the bag and on the front page.*
    *Don’t kid yourself that picturesque little Hobart is Tinsel Town. I’ve spent a half-day in the company of a drug dealer doing his rounds; visited the Bikies in their former North Hobart HQ; been to the home of a ‘Mr Big’ Drug dealer in North Hobart and the home of a Gang leader bikie. The criminal undercurrents run fast below the surface and Meagan had every right to be terrified. She still is…
    Re para 39 above. The lawyer asks the judges, in the form of a submission, to consider suppressing evidence and make a ruling. It is the decision of the judges which ‘controls’ the publication of some facts.
    If, as in 41 above Mr Wright had no standing to petition the judges, as you rightly say, he had every opportunity to convey Meagan’s wishes to Sue’s legal team, who would have obliged, I’m certain. A total debacle from start to finish. Poor Sue!

  9. John Biggs says:

    Had Wright been found to have cheated on his client Vass, which to put it at its simplest seems to be what he had done, then that would surely invalidate Vass’s second denial of everything she had said on Day 1, and Coates’s terrible bullying would have been for nothing. In short, Sue would have won her appeal. But the Prosecution and much else couldn’t allow that to happen so of course they had to say Wright had not been guilty of any sort of malpractice, despite you excellent analysis Andrew that he was indeed guilty. This incident reinforces yet again the huge difficulty of Sue finding justice in the Tasmanian system. But — finger crossed — the appeal judges have yet to report.

  10. LB says:

    The LPB is yet another element that in my view is simply a disgrace. The whole saga continues just as it started – as a despicable circus. I have no words….other than to say I cannot understand why there is no Federal body to intervene.

    • andrew says:

      Unfortunately, the legal system is a hermetically sealed world, and Tasmania’s little version of it is also hermetically sealed from the rest of our jurisdictions. The Tassie System refused to have the latest appeal by Sue Neill-Fraser heard by interstate judges, as is the practice of most jurisdictions – even the crocodile-rich Northern Territory. It’s up to public pressure, supported and promoted by the Tassie media…. good luck with that, you long suffering Tasmanians seeking justice.

  11. Peter Martin says:

    I think that 3 months is time enough for the appeal; judges to have made a decision.

    • Peter Leslie Martin says:

      As her possible parole date is just over 12 months away, it seems to me that they may be delaying the appeal decision until then so that everything just goes away if she is granted parole. I’m just a lay person with no understanding of the processes of law, but is that scenario possible?

      • andrew says:

        Sue Neill-Fraser has said a couple of times that she doesn’t want parole; she wants her conviction to be quashed on the basis she is not guilty.

  12. Lisbeth Eastoe says:

    Stuart Wright, having passed his legal exams, would have known when he gave his 100% guarantee that he was exceeding his proper capacity. To have not notified Galbally of his assurance and sought for the situation to be ratified and confirmed by the court was more than misleading. It was a form of entrapment the consequences of which were predictable.

    Only a Tasmanian CCRC will shine a light on such actions. The Ombudsman for the Legal Profession Board has long deplored their incestuous boy’s club decisions.

  13. Owen Allen says:

    That makes me sick to guts. But I know, I know, I know so much of the Tasmanian Way. Why did he do it? Who got in his ear. Or is he so sick he decided to do it himself. A Federal Royal Commission is the only way forward.
    So many people have been done over in Tasmania by the protectionists, looking after one another. It is evil.

  14. Robert Greenshields says:

    Sue Neil Frasers case is still, it seems, taking on all of the characteristics of the outrageous injustice of the Breaker Morant Court Martial fiasco, controlled by those with their cowardly sense of entitlement, in the last days of the Boer War in South Africa over a century ago. Colonial era standards and cultures should not still be functional within Australian legal processes in 2021, let alone over a decade earlier, as in Sues case. Near daily, across Australia, sections of the credible investigative media exposes criminal behaviour and breaches of sanctified standards by those entrusted with upholding law, order and justice. It, the continuity of criminal behaviour, is not a new phenomena and seems more to be an acceptance of the status quo of yesteryear as the “good enough”, comfortable, pitiable, acceptable standard. Surely it is not too much to expect that newer generations of those volunteering or promoted into such important positions in our societies, are looked upon as credible from the outset, and not, as in the case of many policing types, last chance, end of the line, career and financially security shopping, under educated and under skilled, coppers. The very fact that in the “apple isle” the incredible past policing and administrative culture has now morphed into, and still seemingly sits in judgement of cases, based upon questionable evidence and practices, confirms beyond all doubt, that irrespective of the presentation of Port Arthur prison now as a manicured place of tranquility, peace and reflection, below the surface the sub cultures of brutality, deceit, bullying and exploitation are still alive and well in Tasmania. Maintain the faith Sue, you are not alone.

  15. Brian Johnston says:

    I suggest that the media printed or was set up to print Sam Devine’s name.
    It may have been done deliberately to scare and to subsequently undermine Vass.

    Remember it was the journalist Ogilvy who ‘dobbed’ Sue in to the police in the first place.
    Oglivy has a lot to answer for.

    • andrew says:

      The media reported what was said in court – as is the norm. As for Sue being ‘dobbed in’, the phrase suggests she had done wrong. In fact she was being truthful. Tragic, isn’t it?

  16. Rosemary says:

    Legal Professional Board’s credibility is definitely lowered

  17. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    Andrew, do you honestly believe that the appeal judges will give a shit as to whether or not the practitioner provided a fraudulent , possibly sincere promise to his client.
    I really have nothing more to say on this other than, bring on a Tasmanian CCRC.
    In the meantime, we could all be writing to the woman at the centre of this miscarriage/s of justice and, like those of us who are interested in social justice, breathe in and wait until these three individuals hand down the decision of their appeal as they enjoy the freedom their appellant is duly bound to continue to forego.

  18. Stephen Berry says:

    dear Andrew.
    As I have said before on more than one occasion, anything to kick the can down the road. Keep going, all they do implicate themselves in the scandal. Stay strong Sue, the world is with you.

  19. Joana Cubillos says:

    Yes another episode of legal ineptitude, leading to disastrous consequences, and with no repercussions for those responsable. Whether intentional or not, in any other case, in any other state, this would have had a very different outcome. Incredible to think that this whole bunch prefers to be labeled inept and inefficient, rather than giving Vass, and by default Neill-Fraser, any benefit of the doubt.

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