Sue Neill-Fraser in solitary

Sue Neill-Fraser has been moved into solitary confinement for five days from the end of last week and will then move to maximum security, losing all privileges she has earned over the past decade of incarceration.

Neill-Fraser’s daughter Sarah Bowles found out on Saturday. No clear reasons have been given.

The decision to move Neill-Fraser was made on the eve of the Saturday September 4 vigil held outside Parliament, and follows the unorthodox intervention by Police Commissioner Darren Hine the day before, in a statement that rebuts criticisms of the original police investigation and stating as “fact” that Neill-Fraser is guilty. His statement has drawn criticism and surprise.

Needless to say, her family is distraught and concerned that further hardship is inflicted on a woman they consider to have been in prison unjustly for 12 years.

More reporting to come …

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29 Responses to Sue Neill-Fraser in solitary

  1. Keith says:

    Why is it that when the police or politicians refer to “Sue Neill Fraser supporters” they do so in diminishing way? We are not the Taliban, the alt-right or the Loony Left, we are simply a group of like minded people who have open minds as to what happened and, on assessing all of the information available, believe there has been an unsafe conviction.
    It feels like they are looking down on us condescendingly when they refer to her supporters or am I just being paranoid?!

    • andrew says:

      You are quite right and it goes to the mindset of those protecting the conviction; a combo of hubris and bullying that makes up for lack of decency, integrity… character. It is always on show, especially under threat. Imagine having them as family or friends….ugh

  2. Robert Greenshields says:

    Another outrageous and cowardly assault on Sue Neill Fraser by leading sections self perceived predominants in colonially cultured and stratified petty officialdom. It seems obvious SNF has more intestinal fortitude, intelligence, and honest character than the Tasmanian Police Force and Corrective Services administrations combined.
    To have a Police Commissioner have attributed to him such a pitiable outburst confirms not only his ignorance, arrogance, and unadulterated cowardice, but that of the disgraced, seemingly radically politicised organisation he commands, that unashamedly over rides any of the indiscretions of the previously convicted and gaoled Police Commissioner Lewis from Queensland, along with cementing the culture of the executive of Tasmanian Policing as fundamentally incestuously criminal, and corrupt.
    Sue Neill Fraser has proven herself to be both morally stronger and increasingly more honest, in my views, than any of the inept little public service officialdom connected to her case and the subsequent transparent injustices of her custodial life.
    Attempting to cosmetically present a choreographed image of a terrorising policing and public service culture might be sought to be acceptable in the tranquility of todays Port Arthur manicured gardens and fields, but it’s painfully obvious the brutality of yesteryear is alive and well within the cowards who have long replaced the then villians who opted to don a badged up government issue uniform.

  3. Diane Kemp says:

    I call on Ms Archer to respond to the reason why this has happened to Sue. Her letter would have been screened before leaving the prison so saying that is why this draconian punishment has been inflicted must be a cover up. With the Police Commissioner and now the Policer Union commenting I can only assume that many people are starting to become rattled. This cruel and inhumane punishment of Sue is over the top and needs to be answered in Parliament.
    Intimidation will not stop the truth coming out and time to be accountable is approaching. Stay strong Sue.

  4. Christine Edmondson says:

    Hoping this is leading up to the final storm, before the calm that we are longing for.

    • Geraldine Allan says:

      as do we all.

    • Robert Greenshields says:

      Sue Neill Fraser may well be further suffering under the weight of pitiful public service practices in a physical sense Christine, but, having withstood the obvious tangible and psychologically terrorising assaults from disgraced Policing Forces and their cohorts in what seems to be a corrupted Judicial system, as recorded, I tend to believe that her natural resolute determination to be honest, undeniably moral, and her survival so far, along with the knowledge that irrespective of a number of Tasmanian Government departments obsession to protect its venal self interest at any cost, Sue is not emotionally alone.

  5. Geraldine says:

    As I highly suspected, the recent Commissioner Hine statement, albeit shallow, was being seen as supporting ‘his force’. Today, The Union, PAT, have come out repeating numerous of the already worn-out statements, without providing anything substantially supportive.

    Unsurprisingly, PAT members are feeling the heat considering the direct evidence published in August 2021 ETTER/SELBY papers, and raised/repeated by Mike Gaffney, Legislative Council, 31/08/21.

    Someone had to say something!

    Seems to me saying nothing may have been a far better idea than what has been said, which has left TASPOL open to more ridicule insofar as its unable to defend the recent revelations of impropriety, non-disclosure-et-al

  6. Julie in Sydney says:

    Whom & to What purpose does it serve to heavy handedly place Sue Neal Fraser in solitary confinement for five days?
    Has Minister of Prison been questioned by the Opposition Leader in the Tas Parliament

  7. John Ferris says:

    If anyone needed further convincing of Sue’s innocence then reading her “Day in the life of …” would surely be all that was needed. What a sweet, gentle, kind, considerate, generous character she must be. Her writing portrays such innocence it is no wonder that certain authorities want to avoid any more words escaping from her prison cell. Solitary confinement won’t stop that happening so long as they don’t confiscate pen and paper too. Go girl, your story, your own words – a best seller in the making. And what a top publisher you have in Andrew ! (Thanks for releasing “A day in the life of, etc.”)

  8. Pauline Chalmers says:

    Darren Hine’s statement posted on Tasmania Police Facebook page reads in speech marks and corrections are paragraphed;

    “Hobart man Bob Chappell was murdered in 2009 by his partner Susan Neill-Fraser on board their yacht moored in the Derwent River – those are the facts.”

    (the facts remain – there is a fatal fault line running through Taspol policing practice as the primary source of DNA on the Four Winds deck was not taken as the FIRST point of reference. The police investigators FAILED to radiate out from there in a science- based investigation to the vagrants partying on the foreshore on the night Bob disappeared – Sue has NEVER fitted into the framework – she has been framed by the police and forced into misreporting herself, just as she has been forced to live in isolation, in a concrete cell at Risdon Prison, at this moment in time).
    Refer: Professor Gisli Gudjonsson work on how this can happen to wrongfully identified suspects.

    “Neill-Fraser was convicted by a jury in the Supreme Court, her appeal was then dismissed by the court of Criminal Appeal and the Coroner later conducted a review and supported the Court’s findings.”

    (Court findings show case a miscarriage of justice and the dire state of the criminal justice system in Tasmania, as evidenced in Sue’s case currently undergoing an impartial review by three Appeal Judges.)

    “Whatever selective arguments are made by her support group or sensationalist tabloid-style national media programs, the fact remains that based on the evidence Neill-Fraser was convicted by a jury of murdering Mr Chappell.”

    (The facts are crystal clear, a Criminal Cases Review Commission is urgently needed in Australia, the Appeal Judges will quash Sue’s conviction and she will be justly compensated for the travesty of injustice she has endured. They will order a supervised police investigation to begin from the RIGHT reference point and it will take the police to the people who did commit the crime and it wasn’t Sue.)

    “Neill-Fraser’s second appeal is currently being considered by the court and I would like to make it very clear that I fully support the legal process.”

    (A point of agreement)

    “and remain absolutely confident in the integrity, thoroughness and professionalism of the original and subsequent Tasmania Police investigation teams, including the forensic experts, and the prosecution by the office of the DPP.”

    (A point of disagreement)

    The Minister of Corrections, Elise Archer has an innocent civilian living under lock and key in Tasmania – Yes or No?

  9. Joana Cubillos says:

    As I understand she was already in Solitary when the vigil happened, as Lara Giddings described her situation during the vigil. This renders her notes a very good enough to punish her, but of course not good enough in the eyes of the public. We need to do some thing about this. Any suggestions??

    • Geraldine Allan says:

      I’ll be back …

      • Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

        Joana, my suggestion is saturation. Every one of us human beings are good at something.
        Write to our own commonwealth, state and/or territory Attorney General and seek an answer as to why the Tasmanian Attorney General would want to impose solitary confinement on a senior citizen and if you don’t get a respectful response in a reasonable time, not only consider your voting preference next time but, consider letting all you know who will be voting that a senior citizen was put into solitary confinement, with no explanation and this was carried out unknowingly or for the feeble excuse of daring to write something that was considered so offensive that even the public cannot be told about it.
        Saturate every political leader’s inbox, their media posts, their letter boxes with a simple question; Sue Neill- Fraser: WHY, SHE MATTERS.
        It only takes a pen, a notepad, an envelope, a stamp if posting and all contact addresses are easily acquired through Google, telephone books or phoning the politicians office for forwarding information. I.T. preferences otherwise. We all know what’s best.
        Of course, expect a response only if you leave a reply address.
        Expect a response. Don’t stop until you get one.
        All the time, consider who you will vote for next time.
        Why expect a response, well they all expect you to vote for them.
        Peaceful saturation is my suggestion Joana. This liberty stealing, human rights abuse must cease, even before a CCRC is put in place.

  10. Keith says:

    And now an outrageous article by the Police Association in the Mercury today.
    Will they stop at nothing to protect this verdict?
    I look forward to the Mercury giving your rebuttal as much space Andrew.

  11. LizP says:

    In 2007, POLICE in Western Australian apologised to the wrongly convicted Mickelberg brothers over the Perth Mint swindle.

    Brothers Ray and Peter spent eight and six years respectively in jail for the crime, in which $60,000 worth of gold bars were stolen in a military-style sting in 1982.

    A third brother, Brian, was acquitted after serving nine months and died in a plane crash in 1986. Ray and Peter were eventually acquitted in 2004 after a policeman admitted he and slain Perth CIB chief Don Hancock had fabricated evidence.

    But at the time police refused to say sorry, with former Assistant Police Commissioner Mel Hay saying he thought the pair were guilty and “we don’t apologise to criminals”.

    Mel Hay’s arrogant and unacceptable commentary at the time was truly appalling. The Police Commissioner didn’t even call him out on it.

    Let’s hope Commissioner Hine and his sycophants have to eat crow when Sue Neill-Fraser is exonerated, just as the WA Police ultimately did when it came to the Mickelbergs.

  12. Lisbeth Eastoe says:

    Our democracy is based upon a constitution that enshrines freedom of speech. To cowardly attack an Australian citizen forsaken by an inept, bullying and mediocre police force is tantamount to a final outrage that will be accounted for. The names of those politicians, who are complicit bystanders in this latest odious event, will be writ large in history. Their names will be remembered.

  13. Williambtm says:

    Andrew, given the latest report by you, permits me to forward my comment.
    I allege then submit the cause of this newly imposed and heightened level of severe vengeful imposition has to have arisen from the person most empowered to do so.
    Tasmania’s Attorney-General, the Minister for Justice, and the Minister for Corrections, Ms. Elise Archer, has effectively depicted herself by her emperor-like response to the SNF diary revelations.

    Furthermore, this latest revelation must call out the endangerment apparent against the people in this State. Ms. Elise Archer’s role as the Minister for each of the above-mentioned portfolios must be called into question

  14. Pauline Chalmers says:

    Teina Pora’s miscarriage of justice case got worse before it got better, as people in power by their nature, can often have intransigent mindsets as you see with Elise and Darren. He was eventually released and awarded three and a half million dollars for the abuse inflicted upon him and Sue’s rates of compensation must be rapidly escalating after this latest attempt to suppress her. In her case the fatal flaw occurred, when the original police team began a hunch – based investigation from Sue’s residence in Allison St, using that as their primary point of reference, instead of undertaking a science – based investigation, using the primary source of forensically tested DNA on the Four Winds decking, as an evidential fact and primary point of reference, and then radiating out their investigation from that point. Sue doesn’t fit within that framework. So many elements are identical in Sue’s case to Teina’s case. I want my family to live in Australia with the safeguard of a Criminal Cases Review Commission CCRC so I support Sue. It will be through her miscarriage of justice case, I am confident one will be established. For a country whose bicultural relationship began as a penal colony, it beggars belief you have not established one already. The three Appeal Judges, if they are doing their job competently, will quash Sue’s conviction, shred her court transcripts and the ludicrous coroner’s report, order Elise and Darren to take some professional development courses, restart an investigation from the right point of reference which is the DNA, pay Sue her compensation before moving on to establish a CCRC. Then everyone can sit down and enjoy a good cup of tea together as the police do with the CCRC in NZ. Is it too hard for Elise to answer the question, is there anyone living under lock and key in your prison, who is innocent that you know of? Yes or No.

  15. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    Andrew, what is going on? Is this really all happening in Australia? Is this truly happening to a citizen who surely has the right to responsibly comment on her life? Are we all truly in danger of our liberties, of our basic human rights being stripped away as well as our god given freedom to write? I find this hard to comprehend. Whatever was posted out of the prison must surely have been examined. Surely, given this woman’s non-existent police record prior to her, currently under appeal, conviction, who in God’s name has done this and why? Have these people no shame? Even the person who prosecuted her to prison committed a horrendous driving offence, killing an innocent woman, yet he avoided prison. Same justice system. What has happened to the justice system in Tasmania when a senior police officer writes a social media blog in a social media platform, a public statement about this woman and because of the powers of the state she is the one who now ends up in solitary confinement. Question is: what danger to the public has this arbitrary decision making kind of treatment done on a senior citizen? This is a disgrace, but why am I not surprised. Will the actions of this regime ever be explained? How can these people sleep in their beds at night? A nice edition to Father’s Day I must admit. It may well be long remembered as one of the many infamous weekends in the penal history of Tasmania when it is exposed.

  16. Peter Martin says:

    Perhaps the Attorney General, the Premier, the Prison Superintendent and the Commissioner of Police are actually reading Wrongful Convictions Report and not liking what is being published. If so, that is a positive step forward and I invite them to make a comment here,

  17. Surely, even if not until now, this is a case which should be urgently taken up by those usually as useless as tits-on-a-bull, over-paid and under-worked, Human Rights Commissioners centred in Canberra? This is not only a disgrace to Tasmania. This cruel and unusual punishment to an already grossly wronged innocent citizen of Australia must surely now force some sort of urgent, emergency intervention by the Attorney-General of Australia, to protect Australia’s international record and reputation, and based on the provisions of a whole gaggle of elements in a number of our Human Rights International Treaties. This is Police State inhumane brutality on a par with something to be expected in a totalitarian state, not Australia. If this lasts one minute longer than it should, then I for one am for hiding our shame by again leaving that island full of despotism off any map of Australia. They don’t deserve our recognition. They fail us badly. They are unworthy.

  18. Debra Dew says:

    This punishment is appalling, why, why, why?
    How can they get away with it in 2021?

  19. Rosemary says:

    Why has this occurred so savagely and so swiftly? We want to know the reasoning, as so much that happens with rules and arbitrary rule changing at the prison does not make sense usually.

  20. LB says:

    Sophia and Andrew, if there is some objection to the contents of Sue’s eloquent and entertaining diary style “a day in her life” being sent and then published, surely, one needs to ask what happened with the prison checking of mail? If that is the perceived problem, then clearly someone did not do their job, OR as the rest of us think, there is nothing wrong with the correspondence! Either way it is no way to treat a person who has been a model prisoner for twelve years helping out less fortunate inmates. Indeed I think Sue should probably be commended AND salaried for the work she is doing assisting other people, saving the prison and the state of Tasmania salary costs for services that a reasonable person would think that a prison might provide in rehabilitating and preparing prisoners for release. Ah, Tasmania….

  21. Sophia Y. says:

    The decision by the prison authorities was most probably made after they were alerted to the publication of Sue’s notes (about her prison life) on your blog on 3rd September.

    • andrew says:

      You may be right. We don’t have an official explanation. Her lawyers may be entitled to one …. If you are right, why? The letter was sent legally through the post – and subject to any prison screening process. Secondly, what is contained in the letter that justifies such a severe, disproportionate penalty, without regard to her status as a model prisoner for many years? Let’s find out.

  22. LB says:

    Tasmanians need to urgently ask “who has approved this punishment and why?”This is outrageous and is the kind of thing one might expect in a tin pot dictatorship, not a supposedly civilised and democratic state of Australia. Tasmanian Greg Barns SC has publicly stated that this treatment of Sue Neill Fraser is “cruel and inhumane”. Perhaps the Attorney General, the Premier, the Prison Superintendent et al need to swiftly listen and heed his advice.

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