Sue Neill-Fraser prosecutor Tim Ellis SC, defends the conviction, but …

Andrew L. Urban.

In a rare public comment (Mercury, Sept. 16, 2021) on a case in which he was prosecutor, former Tasmanian DPP, Tim Ellis SC, defends the conviction and refutes Lara Giddings’ claims published the day before. But his comments raise questions … 

THE latest contribution by Lara Giddings (Talking Point, September 15) compels me, reluctantly, to respond,” he begins. After refuting Giddings’ example of the Peter Lorraine testimony, Ellis turns to the matter of “blood in the dinghy”. (The dinghy in which, he had speculated at trial, the murdered, bloody body of Bob Chappell, had been taken from the yacht and dumped in the water by Neill-Fraser…)

“ … in the so called “Etter /Selby papers” much time and space is devoted to seeking to prove that the prosecution’s case that there was blood in the dinghy was wrong and that matters contrary to that proposition were hidden.

It was never the prosecution case that there was blood in the dinghy. I never said the jury could so find at any stage of the trial, and no submission invited them to so find.

Ms Etter knows this well. Ms Etter had complained to the Legal Profession Board (LPB) that I falsely denied after the trial that I had told the jury that there had been found to be blood in the dinghy.

That complaint was examined by the LPB who concluded that there had been no presentation of a blood in the dinghy case and no assertion of it by me and Ms Etter’s complaint was summarily dismissed.

BUT – let’s go to the trial transcript:
CT639: STATE v. NEILL-FRASER P-70 MR ELLIS SC / HOBART 21.9.10 OPENING
“As we go through it and could you come perhaps to photograph 21, and what does that show?……This is a photograph that was taken to show the areas that glowed with the luminol screening test for blood.” 

AND

Tim Ellis SC, former Tasmanian DPP – prosecutor at trial

CT 1348 S.B. NEILL-FRASER / HOBART 12.10.10 XXD MR ELLIS SC
You lowered his body into the dinghy and you took it somewhere into the deeper channels of the Derwent ….

CT 1351 S.B. NEILL-FRASER / HOBART 12.10.10 XXD MR ELLIS SC
… you completed the work and disposed of Mr Chappell’s body by using winches to haul him out and the fire extinguisher and other things. You wrapped him up in some form of doona or cloth or a sail cloth or something with the carpet pieces which were bloody and which you’d removed …..

AND

CT 1486 HIS HONOUR, COUNSEL, JURY ABSENT– SUBMISSIONS, PRIOR TO SUMMING UP, 13.10.10
MR ELLIS SC: The next point is, it was attributed to me that I said it was Mr Chappell’s blood in the dinghy. Now I don’t believe I did.
MR GUNSON SC: Yes, you did.
MR ELLIS SC: Okay – I don’t know why I’d say it
HIS HONOUR: – Well –
MR ELLIS SC: – because I’ve never believed it.
HIS HONOUR: In opening.
MR GUNSON SC: Yeah.
MR ELLIS SC: Oh in opening –
MR GUNSON SC: Yes, in opening.
MR ELLIS SC: Oh okay, I abandon that, if I said it in opening.
HIS HONOUR: All right. Well I’ll do nothing about that point. What’s the next point?

QUESTIONS

  • His Honour Justice Blow (now Chief Justice) indeed did nothing about this point, not even telling the jury that the prosecutor did not believe there was blood in the dinghy. Nor did Ellis. Why not? Like Mr Gunson and His Honour himself, the jury was thus left with the assumption that there was blood in the dinghy, to fit the prosecution’s speculation, as supported by the blue luminol stained dinghy.
  • Ellis was merely speculating how the crime may have been committed, which is why he “never believed” there was blood in the dinghy, as he told the judge and defence, jury absent…
  • Ellis didn’t believe there was blood in the dinghy, so why did he show the photo of the luminal stained dinghy to the jury?
  • Did Ellis show the prejudicial photo to the 2010 jury in ignorance of luminol’s proper and accepted use as he claimed in a 2017 response to the Legal Profession Board (see his comment above)? And if that’s the case, why did he say to the jury:

ELLIS OPENING CT71
But the tender itself was also subjected to a screening test for blood called luminol, and what happens with luminol is you put it – you put it on objects where there might have been blood and turn off the lights and it gets lum – it goes luminous in the presence of blood, and so that reacted quite strongly, the tender and the inside of the tender for the presence of blood, and swabs taken from the tender were found to match, with a high degree of probability, Mr Chappell’s DNA. But on the other hand another screening agent for blood taken on that tender showed negative and one of the forensic scientists looked under the microscope to try and find some – what they look for is red/brown indications of blood and couldn’t find any, so some indications of blood, his DNA, but others – others, no.

Issues that Ellis ignores

Flinders University legal academic Dr Bob Moles comments on Ellis’ article defending the conviction:

“It is interesting to note that the former DPP makes no mention of any of the issues I raised in our research paper which clearly demonstrate that –

* the evidence of the forensic scientist based upon luminol test results should not have been admitted;

* that the opinion of the forensic pathologist about an elderly man being killed by a blow from a heavy instrument should not have been admitted;

*that a number of the submissions by the prosecutor should not have been made;

*that some of the directions by the judge were inappropriate.

*It is clear that the errors by the forensic scientist or the prosecutor would individually or together have provided a sufficient basis for the conviction to be set aside,

The research paper is available at http://netk.net.au/Tasmania/Neill-Fraser95.pdf

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35 Responses to Sue Neill-Fraser prosecutor Tim Ellis SC, defends the conviction, but …

  1. Garry Stannus says:

    I How could they give back her years?

    Could her time be traded,
    Could it be ‘bought or sold’ ?

    Can time (a measure of days)…
    Can it measure: complacency?

    Can time measure hubris,
    measure power, measure ambition and evil?

    Can time measure lack of will, incompetence or inability?

    II How were Olga Ivinskaya’s years stolen,
    by that man of steel, Mr Dzhugashvili?
    How could she retrieve them?

    How could Aleksandr respond
    to his years of life-freezing, archipelago prison?
    Did his Denisovich get back those arctic years?

    How do you give back tears?
    Could the sun go backwards in the sky?
    Can we grow young and return?

    III Just as there are many
    who are victims of easy accusation
    So too are there many who denounce and
    Who ‘double down’ on innocents.

    What is a “Day in the Life”?
    Is it Lennon/McCartney’s ‘I read the news today…oh boy’?
    Or is it ‘One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich
    And is it one ‘Day in the life of Susan Neill-Fraser’.

    IV Can we return to our families
    As though nothing has changed?
    Could the sun go backwards in the sky?
    Can time be traded: bought and sold?

    V How do they sleep, these traders-in-time?

    NOTES:
    Olga Ivinskaya: Boris Pasternak ’s soulmate; model for ‘Lara’ in his Nobel-Prize winning ‘Dr Zhivago’. Olga, was twice punitively imprisoned as a consequence of Pasternak’s publication of Zhivago. [The second imprisonment was (I think) for five years and occurred after Pasternak’s death].

    Mr Dzhugashvili: also known as Joseph Stalin, who, along with Adolph Hitler and Mao Tse Tung, were responsible for the deaths of literally millions and millions of their own and of other peoples during the twentieth century.

    Aleksandr: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Nobel-Prize winner. Known principally in the West for his ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’, but also for other major works such as ‘Cancer Ward’ and ‘Gulag Archipelago’. After courageous service in the WWII fight against Hitler, Solzhenitsyn was condemned to eight years in work camps and special camps. Then he was exiled to Kazakhstan … after three years, he was freed from exile. His crime? Derogatory remarks made by him in a letter to a friend, while serving in the Soviet army in Germany, 1945 … about Stalin’s conduct of the war.

    Denisovich: The ( true-fiction) story: Ivan Denisovich Shukhov has been sentenced to a camp in the Soviet Gulag system. He was accused of becoming a spy after being captured briefly by the Germans as a prisoner of war during World War II. Although innocent, he is sentenced to ten years in a forced labor camp. (From Wiki’s entry on: ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.)

    Lennon/McCartney: English singer-songwriters of the 1960s, performing, recording and writing as part of the pop group: The Beatles. Their early band-days were recorded in Hamburg, playing in post-war occupied Germany. Subsequently, in their ‘Double White Album’ released ‘Revolution’ and ‘Revolution Number 9’. [watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGLGzRXY5Bw%5D. This followed their earlier ground-breaking ‘Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album, on which was the unforgettable ‘A Day in the Life’. This [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usNsCeOV4GM] was ostensibly inspired by an image (of McCartney’s) of a politician at the crossroads … ‘he blew his mind out in a car’. The reference can be taken (in my view) as a reflection on the moral authority of the British Parliament/thus British Government/and thus on Governments in general.

    Susan Neill-Fraser: Accused and arrested in 2009 of the murder of Bob Chappel, despite lack of tangible evidence, was tried, convicted and sentenced to 26 years imprisonment (reduced on appeal to 23 years). She has now (2021 09 18) been in prison for twelve years, in which time she has distinguished herself as a model prisoner, has been of immense help to fellow prisoners for her humanity and emotional support. Recently (upon a request from Andrew Urban, publisher of ‘Wrongful Convictions Report’, for a picture of daily life in the women’s section of Tasmania’s Risdon prison), she wrote her ‘Day in the Life’ reply. [See below].

    This outgoing reply – just as Urban’s incoming letter of request was received – was viewed and passed by the prison’s censor. Yet subsequently, Susan Neill-Fraser was taken from her ‘minimum security’ section of the ‘Mary Hutchinson (Risdon) Prison … placed into solitary confinement for five days (as a – get this – ‘security risk’), deprived of various rights (e.g. phone calls, visits, letters) … upon the expiration of which … she was to be placed in maximum security.

    She – Susan Neill-Fraser – is being treated punitively. She is being punished, not just for having written an innocuous letter describing one day in her prison life (allowed out by the prison censor), but she is also being punished for the Etter-Selby accusations of police/prosecution incompetence/non-disclosure/ignorance/deceit.

    Concluding remarks: It must be said, that Sue (Susan Neill-Fraser) was not even aware of the Etter-Selby documents when they were first (at the beginning of August) sent to the Tasmanian Attorney-General, Elise Archer. But the powers-that-be are such that a denial of official incompetence/wrongdoing necessitates repression of the victim … Neill-Fraser. Hence, the solitary confinement, withdrawal of privileges and ultimate move of this wheel-chair bound woman to … maximum security in the prison.

    FURTHER NOTES:
    Tim Ellis: [Wiki]: “In 2010, Ellis conducted the trial of Susan Neill-Fraser for the murder of Bob Chappell on Australia Day, 2009. The result was that Neill-Fraser was found guilty of murder, and sentenced to 26 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 18 years. Ellis later defended the verdict and sentence before the Court of Criminal Appeal, with the result that the verdict was undisturbed, but the sentence was reduced to 23 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 13 years. Ellis again successfully defended the verdict before the High Court of Australia on a special leave application. [?!! – leave to appeal was not granted. (In my view) the verdict was not ‘successfully defended’, so much as, rather, the application to appeal failed. Tim Ellis, in a recent article in The Mercury (16Sept2021) wrote how he “conducted the trial of Susan Neill-Fraser”. I would have thought rather that Justice Blow had conducted the trial and that Tim Ellis had prosecuted it … but maybe Tim Ellis was right … there are many who feel that Blow’s refusal to recall Vass and that his summing up (copious mentions of a hypothetical wrench) were antithetical to judicial impartiality and served the prosecution’s speculations. Me? – I couldn’t possibly comment!]
    […]
    Ellis was the subject of personal litigation against him and his former partners of the firm of Clarke & Gee, by a former client who alleged that one of the partners had given negligent advice in relation to the Launceston Tudor Motor Inn
    […]
    Ellis was found guilty of negligent driving causing death on 26 June 2014. Following an unsuccessful appeal, Ellis returned to the Magistrates Court of Tasmania for sentencing. He was convicted of negligent driving causing death, and sentenced to 4 months’ imprisonment, wholly suspended, and driving disqualification for 24 months.
    On 15 January 2015, Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman and Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin announced Ellis would not continue in the role of DPP, after the Governor accepted their recommendation he be removed from the position.

    Jack Shapiro SC: – “the enthusiastic second fiddle to both DPPs [writes Urban, WCR: 26Jun2021]. He [Shapiro] also stated in court that (in relation to the Neill-Fraser matter) Hobart solicitor Jeff Thompson ‘duped’ Stephen Gleeson, by influencing a photo identification by Gleeson (which Thompson denies). Thompson had not been convicted of any wrongdoing. Thompson is yet to face trial; charged in August 2017 with perverting the course of justice, his trial has been repeatedly delayed. In early 2018, Lynda Mason, counsel for the DPP, requested the Supreme Court (Brett J) that Thompson’s trial be deferred until after the Sue Neill-Fraser appeal has been finalised. That sits at odds with the requirement that a person should be tried without an unreasonable delay. It is now over three years since that day. Thompson alerted the judge that he “hasn’t had full disclosure. And secondly I haven’t had the indictment. And thirdly this matter should be held completely independent of any other matter.” Brett J said that as he was dealing with the Neill-Fraser matter, “I think it’s appropriate that this matter be referred to another Judge because I don’t think it’s appropriate I deal with it.” The matter remains in limbo.”

    Daryl Coates: on the coat strings of Mr Ellis, at Neill-Fraser’s yet undecided 2nd Appeal, he (in the aftermath of Counself for Meaghan Vass having apparently failed to make application for her evidence to be suppressed (she named the killer of Bob Chappell) … next day The Mercury led with a ‘Sam did it’ headline. Vass having thus been denied protection in the court, Daryl Coates nevertheless bored into her the next day in cross-examination. The result … she collapsed completely … agreeing with everything he put to her … in what appeared to us all at court … to be an attempt to get out, to get away, to get free of the danger of having grassed on a member of a criminal Hobart family. Coates had had a win, but had justice?

    David Gunson: ineffectual defence counsel at trial for Susan Neill-Fraser.

    Elise Archer: Attorney-General, Tasmania: “The matter is pending on appeal … I’ve heard the comments by Mike Gaffney [who tabled the Etter-Selby documents in the Parliament]. I have been inundated with emails presenting that case. I don’t feel, nor it is appropriate for me to intervene in proceedings. [Shades of Pontius Pilate?] I’ve been surprised by Ms Gidding’s approach on this as a former attorney-general. She knows what the process is and it’s not appropriate for me to intervene.

    Ian Thomas: Director of Prisons, Tasmania: “Solitary confinement does not exist in our prisons. We do separate prisoners from other prisoners and we minimise or control their access to other prisoners; their engagement to other prisoners and staff, depending on their behaviour but we don’t use the term ‘solitary confinement’. and we don’t consider that we use it.

    Go tell that to the marines!

    Susan Neill-Fraser: A Day in the Life:

    We wake each morning to the dulcet tones of a PA announcement, “This is your 6:45 wake up call” usually followed by the edifying news that we will be locked down for part or all of that day. Lockdowns are far more prevalent than they used to be, mostly due to lack of staff and during these phases, inmates can expect to be confined to their cells, buildings, or unit boundaries. I’m in a minimum rated area, so I have the good fortune to be able to get out in the fresh air and also have access to a computer most of the time.
    We have gatherings, musters at different times each day to ensure no one has burrowed under or parachuted over the perimeter fence or heaven forbid, died in the night. Mind you, the fence is so high, one would need to build a trebuchet to sail over it.
    Following the wake up call, I hop on an exercise machine for 20 minutes after which a posse of officers arrive to count us and our metal cutlery (in case it has been put to forbidden unspecified use), then showers and medication where the queue often stretches to Timbuktu. I take vitamins, so I also have to line up under the beady eye of a custodial officer who asks to look in your mouth to make sure the tablets have disappeared. Think fledglings in a nest begging for food. There is a good reason for this. Some inmates are quite clever at concealing the tablets, then reminiscent of cormorants regurgitating and trafficking them to others. The first time I observed this process, I saw what appeared to be convulsive choking, and assuming it was the real thing, slapped the inmate’s back, causing the tablets to fly forth across the room. The intended recipient pounced and thanking me explained what was going on.
    Naturally, these antics swiftly led to increasingly bizarre behaviour, a dead giveaway, ensuring the issue is picked up quickly. We have another muster at nine euphemistically entitled, ‘labor parade’ where all inmates line up to be recounted in a common area. The real purpose of this is to make sure no one simply goes back to bed after medication to ‘sleep their sentence away’. Assuming no lockdown, inmates then disperse to their jobs, if they have one or attend courses. My official ‘job title’ is peer mentor, which entails assisting new inmates’ inductions into the prison, explaining the rules and showing them the ropes. Unofficially, I help out with a range of issues. Tutoring, interpreting legal mail, correcting documents, writing inmates mitigation pleas, the list goes on. Having no legal training whatsoever, I was initially reluctant to become involved in this area. However, I changed my mind after it became clear that some inmates were illiterate and unable to read, let alone interpret or reply to letters from their lawyers.
    Others were not eligible for legal aid, a dire situation often effecting those already serving sentences, and then arraigned on fresh charges which didn’t meet funding guidelines. Almost every morning, I’m approached usually in the medication line where there is no escape, with a request from someone who hasn’t mastered the art of writing, or if they have, can’t bring themselves to compose a document to anyone in authority without a liberal sprinkling of expletives. I’m handed a note along the lines of, “if yer honour had effing well let me out the last two effing times, I wouldn’t have belted the c***” together with a muttered request, “Can you fix it up Sue?“
    These diversions can take time to sort out. Recently, a sheaf of papers was thrust under my nose with an outrage, “Yer gotta elp me. Me lawyer’s no good, it just hung up on me.” Well, no surprises there. Once I unearthed the facts for the prosecutor, it turned out the aggrieved, a well-known thief, had been charged with absconding from the supermarket with 42 tins of powdered sports’ drink concealed into her jacket and there was CCTV footage. “Did you take them?” “Nah, I only steal meat and makeup.” “Stop. I don’t want to hear it.” Having read hundreds of these missives destined for prosecutors, I’d long since reached the inescapable conclusion that significant flights of fancy could afflict the authors. In this case, I really didn’t see how the small being in front of me could hide one tin, let alone 42 on her person. We wrote back, politely requesting a copy of the CCTV footage to verify this astonishing accusation. As predicted, the tape went missing and the charge dropped.
    When arrested 12 years ago, I refused to believe such things occurred. Wiser now. As the morning wears away, there are frequent interruptions to relieve the monotony. People with a serious drug habit often come in looking skeletal, having omitted to eat much real food in the pursuit of ‘ice’, the most likely curse of their lives. Once clean, they then become ravenous, eating everything insight. We in the minimum units are able to save some of our unused meals, cereals, et cetera, for cooking, a resource, which becomes very attractive to those who don’t have access to it. With breakfast a distant memory, various hungry souls arrive from medium to lurk at our front gate and reminiscent of a flock of predatory seagulls, screech appeals for leftovers. “Ya got any biscuits? Meals? Eaten yer dessert yet? Do you want it or can I have it? What about an egg then?” Anyone stepping outside with any sort of bowl or container immediately attracts the attention of a dozen pairs of eyes, which with shark like focus zoom in to determine whether something edible might be had.
    At lunchtime, we are locked down for an hour, a time I use to rummage through legal precedents in the hope of finding useful information applicable to my case. I also make phone calls. I have two beautiful daughters and four grandchildren, and it really brightens my day if I can catch up with them. I find that I can no longer afford the self pitiful luxury of allowing myself to dwell on all that is lost. Long-held plans to introduce them to farm life, skiing, sailing, horse riding, all the good things we’d planned to do together. However, I can ask them about their day’s activities; tadpole catching, model building, bike riding, maths homework (horrors!), and so on. Short, miserable, cold days and grey skies, dismal features of Tasmanian winters are once again upon us. So much of my time is currently spent out of the icy chill undercover.
    Ridiculous as it sounds, I never seem to have any spare hours in the day. By the time I finish one document and begin the next, it’s time for the five o’clock evening lockdown. In summer, any spare time was spent in the vegetable garden, weeding planting, watering, pruning. It’s restful for the soul away from the noise and drama that is part and parcel of prison life. Years ago, I began a seed saving program, a resource which continues to provide a good supply of greens, which we then harvest then cook to compliment the dreaded ‘chill meals’ supplied by the prison. We no longer get any fresh fish, only the Besser block grey, heavily battered variety of, I suspect, dubious provenance (scurrilous offerings from Northern neighbours). So, I take fish oil instead, much safer and dream of sushi.
    One of the saddest things I see in prison is the incarceration of people due to mental health issues. It occurs with monotonous regularity and although the custodial officers of the prison are supportive and do their best to engage, timely professional intervention remains far from our shores. Our time is pretty much circumscribed and there isn’t a great deal of intellectual stimulation.
    Due to COVID, visits have been kept one a week instead of the usual three and I really miss the interaction at times feeling as if I’m caught up in a kind of existential Groundhog Day existence. Connection to the outside world is vital to combating this malaise. However, it’s tempered by the realisation that visiting the Risdon Riviera, as I call it, is not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, for some it’s nervous breakdown territory. Just navigating security can be an ordeal. Sniffed by dogs, lined up in queues with other visitors, some of whose only use for a bar of soap has been to grease lock mechanisms to ease the way of picking them. All a bit grim, and I will remain very grateful to all those who continued to make the effort, some for over a decade. So, for now, life plods on; more ‘stolen’ years ticking away.

    Thanks, to Sue for her courage and resilience, thanks to her family and to her supporters and to others who pursue justice and democracy. [GFS: 18Sept2021]

    • Craig says:

      The presiding judge OVERSEES the conduct of the trial

      The prosecutor CONDUCTS the trial of the accused

      The defence barrister CONDUCTS the defence of the accused.

    • Rosemary says:

      Masterful dissertation on the reality of perceived justice Garry. Perfect examples from history. As long as those benefitting from a dysfunctional justice system in Tasmania continues we shall continue hearing the bleating, ‘nothing to see here’, from officialdom. The use of Sue as a scapegoat must cease. Free her and find the real perpetrators.

  2. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    I never gave much thought to the opinions about unscrupulous car salesmen and women but now I can honestly say, you are a decent lot in comparison.

  3. Julie, Sydneysider says:

    That the Victorian legal system i, in 2014, issued a mere four month suspended jail sentence for Tim Ellis’s negligent driving, causing death, in my view , amounts to an insult to Ms Pearn’s memory & her family, & accords insufficient value to a human life.

    • Geraldine Allan says:

      Julie, the Ellis appeal case was heard in the Tasmanian court by a retired Victorian Judge, who heard his appeal against conviction, which was dismissed.
      “…He appealed immediately and asked the court to order a stay on his sentencing in the Magistrates Court until the result of the appeal was known.
      No Tasmanian judge was willing to hear the appeal.
      Tasmanian Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin confirmed that former Victorian judge David Harper QC had been appointed as an acting judge of the Supreme Court of Tasmania.
      He was to take up his position in Tasmania in November and would remain an acting judge of the court until the Ellis appeal was finalised.
      Justice Harper served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria from 1992 until last year. …”

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/retired-victorian-judge-to-hear-dpp-tim-ellis-appeal/5761070

    • Helen Adkins-Sherston says:

      Unfortunately Julie, there is more than meets the eye re Tim Ellis. What was he doing the morning in 2013 when he killed a young 27 year old Natalia Pearn on the midlands highway. The Rule of Karma will get those who cause suffering to living beings. When he finally makes a nursing home the carers will turn a blind eye. I came back seven years ago from Brisbane and I shudder sometimes at the penal justice system that is unfolding here. My youngest daughter from Sydney will never come back here. Have a look at the Obstacles to Tasmania article. So true.

  4. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    Andrew, with the Etter/ Selby papers now having been tabled in the parliament, have they hit the bullseye?
    No more running away from the 25,000 plus signatories who have been demanding what these papers, by all appearances, have ignited.
    No more do we need to wait for a non-response from politicians and other government officials, thanks to one man who, in doing his job, has become a notably significant Tasmanian political figure with exceptional integrity.
    The line, ‘“Can’t comment on this, it’s before the courts”.
    Well, how noticeable that this strategy has suddenly been sidelined.
    Whatever the outcome of Sue’s drawn out appeal, those who are now becoming unnerved well know.
    The parliament of Tasmania now has questions that will one day give rise to a Commission of inquiry, if not now, then at a future time, in order to protect the people of Tasmania. Thank you Michael Gaffney MLC.

  5. Rosemary says:

    A picture paints a thousand words so they say. Regardless of the weasel words in the paper by former DPP of the upholding of the trial verdict in 2010 the significant question that is raised; is of the huge and bright photo of luminol infested quicksilver inflatable presented to the jury. This would stay in the minds of the jury over the complicated technical discussions in the trial. (plus never being told there was no blood as quoted in blog article above) It is basic psychology. For the jury it could have tipped the scales over and as Dr Moles rightly points out that it is another trial error to have allowed it. The reply article for that reason alone is disingenuous

  6. Diane Kemp says:

    Astounding that Ellis has weighed into this matter albeit using selective information and denying he mentioned the test for blood. His role in this unjust decision is there for everyone to see and read. Agree with Keith about the irony here. What a lot of new people appear to feel the need to be making comments now – one wonders why!!
    Stay strong Sue.

  7. Brian Johnston says:

    Lets just look at this with the information we have.
    Tim Ellis believes Sue is guilty. All he has to do is prove it.
    And prove it he did.
    That is what we are faced with and what we are dealing with.

    We disagree.
    To save Sue we have to prove Ellis wrong.
    There is the dilemma.

    Everything the supporters have attempted has been opinion v’s opinion with Ellis having the upper hand.

    We had proof. Megan Vass was there. Her DNA was there. She was a witness to events. It was all disallowed.

    The question now is where do we go from here. It aint easy.
    Talking about corruption will not help. We have to prove it.
    Megan Vass should never have slipped through our hands.

    The judges we are waiting on to make a decision can and will apply the law.
    It wont be about what they think or believe.

    The judges will surely rule against the appeal.
    No one wants to be wrong. I hope I am.

    Can anyone come up with new evidence or a new angle.
    Please step forward.

    • andrew says:

      Oh dear oh dear, Brian. We have been talking and writing about a whole new batch of new evidence since August 1! That document was tabled in parliament.
      https://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/LC/tpapers/2021/lcsearch_frames.html – enter Susan in the search box
      That’s just NEW exculpatory evidence and doesn’t include everything that has been discussed before the latest appeal.
      You have some reading to do!

    • Rosemary says:

      sorry Brian, “prove it he didn’t” still all supposition

    • Robin Bowles says:

      I hope you are wrong about the Appeal outcome. The three Appeal judges must be living on a different planet if some of the community disquiet hasn’t filtered into their protected ‘brainspace’. Why are they taking so long? Doesn’t say much for the Tasmanian legal fraternity’s attitude towards the 5 Es of legal ethics—equality, economy, expedition, evidence and equity…

      • Geraldine Allan says:

        Robin, my assessment sheet reads like this
        5 Es of legal ethics—
        Equality — 😩⚖︎⚖︎👎
        Economy — 😩💵💵💵💵 👎
        Expedition — 😩👎👎
        evidence — 😩⚖︎👎👎
        equity — 😩😡😤

  8. Sue Marsh says:

    Can someone please tell me what is the time limit for this appeal decision. It must be costing Tasmania a fortune for these decision makers to drag out their answer. It is either Yes or No, you don’t have to have been to uni to get on with making a response.
    It just makes a mockery of the justice system in Tassie and tends to prove that there is an issue with an appeal continuing.
    Tell them to prove it, that’s all they need to do.

  9. Noeline Durovic says:

    ANDREW, How extraordinary? The ex DPP (sacked from his $500,000.00 position) charged and found guilty of causing the death by negligent driving crashing head on into a Natalie Pearn a 27 young woman killing her; when he crashed his car into hers. in appearances denies remorse showing little compassion of his crime as he appealed against the guilty verdict.Which was not upheld! Publicly still at it defends the
    un-defendable? Snipes at Etter/Selby papers as “SO CALLED” factual papers. Facts are facts and read them we all have! 25,000 plus of us!

  10. Geraldine Allan says:

    Story time again.
    “ The donkey told the tiger: The grass is blue.

    The tiger replied: No, the grass is green​.

    The discussion became heated, and the two decided to submit the issue to arbitration, and to do so they approached the lion.

    Before reaching the clearing in the forest where the lion was sitting on his throne, the donkey started screaming: ′′Your Highness, isn’t it true that the grass is blue?”​

    The lion replied: “True, the grass is blue”​.

    The donkey rushed forward and continued: ′′The tiger disagrees with me and contradicts me and annoys me. Please punish him”​.

    The king then declared: ′′The tiger will be punished with 5 years of silence”​.

    The donkey jumped with joy and went on his way, content and repeating: ′′The grass is blue”​..

    The tiger accepted his punishment, but he asked the lion: ′′Your Majesty, why have you punished me, after all, the grass is green?”​

    The lion replied: ′′In fact, the grass is green”​.

    The tiger asked: ′′So why do you punish me?”​

    The lion replied:

    That has nothing to do with the question of whether the grass is blue or green. The punishment is because it is not possible for a brave, intelligent creature like you to waste time arguing with a donkey, and on top of that to come and bother me with that question

    The worst waste of time is arguing with the fool and fanatic who doesn’t care about truth or reality, but only the victory of his beliefs and illusions. Never waste time on discussions that make no sense… There are people who for all the evidence presented to them, do not have the ability to understand, and others who are blinded by ego, hatred and resentment, and the only thing that they want is to be right even if they aren’t.

    When ignorance screams, intelligence shuts up. Your peace and tranquility are worth more.
    Adapted from an unknown Author”

  11. Stephen Berry says:

    Hi guys.
    I have always wondered, now we know what we know about the vast amount of incomplete and false information presented by the prosecution, lets have a look at the Bunnings tapes using facial recognition. Wonder what we might find? Were the tapes ever refuted to the defence?

    Stephen Berry.

    • Pauline Chalmers says:

      Stephen – 25000 people who are concerned Sue’s conviction is unsafe, would all like the answer to your question – Andrew may be able to assist with the answer.

  12. Keith says:

    Oh the irony. Ellis killed someone, Sue didn’t.

    • Geraldine Allan says:

      😩😩😩😩
      😡😡😡😡
      😭😭😭😭
      🤬🤬🤬🤬

    • Robin Bowles says:

      Well put Keith! Very succinct! I wrote the story of Tim Ellis and Natalia Pearn. Very messy!

      • Peter Gill says:

        I recommend Robin Bowles’ book Accidental Death which includes a chapter about Tim Ellis and Natalia Pearn. An interesting book.

      • Geraldine Allan says:

        Yes Robin, so very very traumatic for the Pearn family to endure
        Timeline of events:
        2013
        March 24: Ellis crashes into Natalia Pearn’s car on Midland Highway
        October 1: Ellis pleads not guilty causing death by negligent driving
        November 18: Ellis suspended from $500,000 pa job on full entitlements; Daryl Coates becomes Acting DPP
        2014
        March: Trial begins
        June 26: Ellis found guilty of causing death by negligent driving
        July 11: Ellis lodges appeal against finding
        July 15: Interim stay placed on sentencing, search for judge to hear appeal
        November 11: Victorian judge hears appeal against guilty finding
        December 3: Justice David Harper dismisses appeal
        December 23: Ellis given four-month suspended jail sentence, banned from driving for two years

        2015
        Ellis sacked as Tasmania’s Director of Public Prosecutions

    • Geraldine Allan says:

      For those readers who are unfamiliar with Natalia Pearn’s horrific death and the subsequent sacking of then DPP Ellis, here’s a link
      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-23/tasmanian-dpp-tim-ellis-sacked/6041184

  13. Jess says:

    This is the man, who of his own negligence destroyed the life of a young woman and her family. I cannot trust in the integrity of his role at the time and firmly believe all his cases and convictions should be reviewed in light of that. If anything, he is proof that the system favours their own, as we should note he did not record a conviction for his crime.

    To come out now and defend his speculations says nothing positive about his character. Where is the public acknowledgement for Natalia Pearns death and apology/remorse to her family? He acted in his own interests, not that of a fair justice system.

    • andrew says:

      For the record (and for context) a conviction was recorded. Here is a December 2014 report on the matter by the ABC:
      “Tasmania’s Director of Public Prosecutions Tim Ellis has been given a four-month suspended jail sentence and a two-year driving ban over a fatal car crash.

      In June (2014), Ellis was found guilty of causing the death of 27-year-old Launceston woman Natalia Pearn on the Midland Highway in March last year through negligent driving. Earlier this month, Ellis lost an appeal against the guilty verdict.

      The appeal judge rejected 59-year-old Ellis’s argument that he was asleep at the wheel at the time and that the crash was caused by his sleep apnoea, not negligence. Ellis’s car crossed onto the wrong side of the Midlands Highway for up to 1.5 kilometres before colliding head-on with the victim’s car.

      Ellis was suspended from his $500,000 a year job on full pay after the crash.”

      He was sacked in 2015, replaced by Daryl Coates SC.

      • Jess says:

        My apologies Andrew, I meant to edit that part before posting. The conviction was recorded, I meant to change that to say he served no sentence for being found guilty as it was suspended.

  14. Emma Y says:

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