This week 11 years ago, Sue Neill-Fraser entered the witness box to give evidence at her trial for murdering Bob Chappell. This week also marks seven months since her latest appeal hearings before the judges (Wood, Escourt, Pearce) who are yet to deliver their decision.
Evidence … the presumption of innocence … the rule of law … prosecutorial integrity; this quiz puts those crucial concepts under the microscope.
(Answers below in red)
INVESTIGATION & TRIAL
1 What evidence was there that Sue Neill-Fraser hit Bob Chappell that day?
1 None; the prosecutor speculated
2 What did the prosecutor show the jury as evidence of blood in the Four Winds dinghy to support his speculation that Sue Neill-Fraser removed his body in the dinghy?
2 Forensic image of dinghy stained with luminol – a preliminary test
3 Despite the absence of his body, did the prosecutor speculate as to what injuries there may have been found on Bob Chappell’s body?
3 Injuries consistent with his speculation
4 The prosecution told the jury Bob Chappell was seen arguing with Sue Neill-Fraser in public on the waterfront, as sign of motive to murder; but the witness realised at trial that it was a different woman. Who was it? (The jury was left with the wrong information.)
4 Bob’s sister, Ann
5 Did police interview Sue Neill-Fraser’s ex husband?
6 Did police interview possible persons of interest around the foreshore?
7 What is the name of the witness with a criminal record and an ulterior motive who made unsubstantiated claims to the police and the court that Sue Neill-Fraser had a decade earlier sought his help in killing Bob Chappell?
7 Phillip Triffett
8 Was there any DNA evidence found that linked a third party to the crime scene – and who was that third party?
8 Yes – Meaghan Vass
9 What did the prosecutor tell the jury about that DNA?
9 He called it a ‘red herring’
10 A latex glove found on Four Winds was claimed by the prosecutor to have been used by Sue Neill-Fraser to ‘clean up’ after the murder, as DNA suggested; but it wasn’t her DNA and the jury didn’t find out. Whose was it?
10 Tim Chappell, Bob’s son
SINCE THE TRIAL
11 Did the third party whose DNA was found admit on 60 Minutes that she was eyewitness to the bloody fight on board and Sue Neill-Fraser wasn’t there?
12 Who was seen by her on the Four Winds having a bloody fight with Bob Chappell?
12 Two males
13 Whose honest testimony about a dinghy alongside Four Winds at the relevant time was discovered well after the trial to have been mistaken about which yacht and dinghy he referred to?
13 Peter Lorraine *
14 Have any lawyers, barristers, etc called publicly for an inquiry into the case?
14 Yes, several, eg Chester Porter QC, Robert Richter QC, Tom Percy QC, Greg Barns SC, Dr Bob Moles
15 Have any lawyers, barristers, etc publicly defended the conviction (other than the ODPP)?
* Peter Lorraine’s crucial evidence about sighting the Four Winds‘ dinghy on the Australia Day afternoon was incorrect. He didn’t see any of the Four Winds, its dinghy, or Bob Chappell. He saw another yacht, another dinghy, another person. The notes of his first contact with police make that quite clear. But those notes (made by Detective Sinnitt) were not disclosed to the Defence. (Etter/Selby papers, August 11, 2021)
We hope this QUIZ has helped readers understand the need for an inquiry into the case. There are other valid questions that trouble us:
Why did the judge fail to disallow the prosecution’s bloody, unsubstantiated and strictly forbidden speculation about the accused?
Why did the judge fail to advise the jury that the prosecutor advised him (jury absent) that the prosecutor did NOT believe there was blood in the dinghy?
Why did the judge refuse to allow the recall of Meaghan Vass whose DNA was found at the crime scene?
Why a Parliamentary Inquiry is the best process to scrutinise the case of Sue Neill-Fraser
The petition calling for an inquiry has so far attracted over 26,000 signatures.
Tiles – Tasmanian Institution of Law Enforcement Studies and Research Applications was formed by the UTAS (university) and the DPTEM (inc police) and it formally operates within the Faculty of Arts was established in 2002, six academic years before Bob’s disappearance. The police published a statement at the end of 2010 their Detective Training Course, Drug Investigation Course and Investigative Skills course would be upgraded to incorporate contemporary investigative and crime scene examination skills by 2011 which was two years too late for Bob Chappell.
Did the detectives engaged on his case have current Professional Development and Recognition Portfolio’s to present to the people who cared about him or was this not required by the Detectives registration authorities in 2009. It is a grave matter when Sue wrote to the police in July 2009 her concern that little progress was being made in his (Bob’s) case and Detective Conroy replied to the effect “Well nowhere, we have really only been looking at you all along, you’re been our only – our main suspect”. Do the public just to have to take the word the Detective’s Powell, Sinnett, Rowe, Puurand, Conroy and co. were fit for purpose when their individual professional portfolio’s couldn’t be sighted? Who had ever undertaken a course of study into Miscarriage of Justice cases as one example? It’s all part of the supposing, a word that is predominantly used in all of Sue’s trial transcripts.
University of Tasmania: Courses and Units – Justice in Practice HPP102
“This unit is designed to enable students to contextualise justice in practice. The unit provides students with an opportunity to understand the challenges of being a justice practitioner and taking responsibility for ensuring that a just outcome is achieved. Upon completion, students will have deeper understanding of the variety of interpretations of justice in practice including formal justice (adversarial and inquisitional); restorative justice; as well as truth and reconciliation and indigenous forums;
Students will learn how natural and procedural justice strengthens the ‘delegated chain of democratic authority’ that binds the system to the public and how systemic failures in the ‘justice process’ lead to the miscarriage of justice and challenge the authority of the system itself. The aim is to study justice from a practice-based approach and illuminate the ethical challenges that confront the justice practitioner.”
A current Miscarriage of Justice case in Tasmania today is heralded in Andrew Urban’s list of discrepancies in the Sue Neill-Fraser’s case which justice practitioners are attempting to unravel in a Court service, which in itself needs to be reviewed, to cull the personnel who intimidate people in the process as Sue was from the outset.
It is time for workspaces that serve law enforcement are made safe with better trained staff, who have learnt how to perform their duties correctly, so Miscarriage of Justice cases do not arise as happened after Bob Chappell’s disappearance.
Tasmanian Police Report published 2009-2010
Investigative and Crime Scene-related Training
A review was conducted into investigative and crime-scene related training during the reporting period and resulted in a number of changes. A framework was developed that establishes a structured and clear pathway for police to develop investigative and basic crime-scene examination skills.
Training was restructured to provide a tiered and integrated training framework that begins with recruit training and advances through progressive courses to transfer into respective investigative or forensic areas. The framework clearly outlines the entry point in the pathway for police members aspiring to transfer to those areas in the course of their careers.
In addition, the curriculum for in-service training courses such as the Detective Training Course, Drug Investigation Course and Investigative Skills Course were reviewed and redeveloped to incorporate contemporary investigative and crime scene examination skills.
Comment: Bob Chappell disappeared before these changes were implemented and the existing detective’s skills were upgraded. To this day the word Miscarriage of Justice is not included in the terminology used by law enforcement in Tasmania and the only research undertaken in the State has been accomplished by Barbara Etter.
Hindsight is 20/20 vision – a hazard tape wrapped around the Hobart police workplace and a risk assessment undertaken before any member of the public entered – poorly trained police are an absolute hazard Sue!!! And it appears the Court’s are unsafe environments as well, if her Appeal heard in the Supreme Court in March is any indicator. Stay safe – stay well clear of law enforcement in Tasmania.
Andrew? Why did tainted evidence ‘not of the rule of law’ ever give right to the cruel despots whom evidence shows disposed of all police honour and decency? Unfair strong evidence now shown up of police desperately taking it upon themselves to wtongly prosecute an innocent grieving woman? Missteps amounting to lies of DNA leads to a murder by those likely of the foulest of deed! Police DPP know it/have it/are aware of it from years and years back; yet the murders live amongst us free? Why? Then there is the joint pursuit to assist in the framing of an innocent woman? Factually the DPP to a macarb fantasy of conjurd speculation. ‘Prosecuting as the DPP’ Susan Neil Fraser for the murder of Bob Chappell in trial in the Tasmanian Supreme Court speculates to the jury his theory of a bloody unsubstantiated and strictly forbidden (yet influencing) and setting a jury to believe Sue murdered Bob on the 2009 Australia Day night! Bearing in mind it is all set to the macabre of the DPP’s mind and it did not happen! What evil speculates to frame to prosecute an innocent person?
This seems to be the lie of it all! – So grave! – So deceitful! – So bloody to entrap us all? Tasmanian Police/ DPP(s) Judiciary conjured utter dishonesty to form the persecution of Susan Neil Fraser? What reason?
1…Analytical experts by many have proved this to be fact that this has been done by some members of the Tasmanian Police force?
2…Why did a group of Tasmanian Police connive for appearances sake with no good reason; make up a case against Susan Neil Fraser that she murdered her beloved partner of years Robert Chappell?
3…Why did the Tasmanian DPP add to the mix of the made up Tasmanian Police charges a bloody horrible untrue ‘ shiny heavy wrench theory’ (edited or legal reasons)
4…Why? When Susan Neill- Fraser was never guilty of murdering a soul and why her partner of loving years?
How bizarre this is to even theorise without evidence Sue would/could murder Bob?. From the fact theirs was a family life of normalcy – kindness – ambition to dream of a wonderful fulfilling future in their togetherness in a beautiful fantastic future with their brand new luxury yacht “Four Winds” (large enough for family and ocean cruising)
Sue and Bob planning and buying ‘Four Winds’ in happiness and harmony..dreaming and planing when their lives would give change to understand the ownership of ‘Four Winds’ so they could create a leisure exciting life together centred to sail!
All so good until that fateful night of Australia Day 2009!
Then? The Rule of Law’ shattered as lives taken in lies and criminality crumbling all around in the wrongness of unreliable Tasmanian Police/DPP(s) Judiciary over right yet it is wrong???????
It is interesting when one reflects on the strange circumstances that were central to the SNF Supreme Court conviction demonstrates that the cream of Tasmania’s legal professionals had done their utmost to create a conviction without any regard as to whether they were right or wrong?
Most of the alleged impure justice and judiciary officials, including legal professionals
and senior ranking police (with the exception of a former DPP), are still out there plying their trade.
That must spell out that danger is still alive and available through this State’s Supreme Court jurisdiction?
In that same year as the SNF case 11 years ago, the unrestrained discretion of the former DPP had halted the prosecution of 100 odd Hobart males that had engaged in underage sex.
This had been another inconclusive legal case matter that had surfaced during the year 2010.
Yet the very same justice and judiciary officials had chosen to remain silent… despite the evidence gained in the earlier stages of that particular police investigation?
When the High Court Judge Rodney Hansen QC was required to write a report to Parliament for Teina’s compensation he described a mosaic or strands of events that intertwine to “create” a Miscarriage of Justice case and all the strands have to be unravelled as you have just done.
Facts are presented to the court that are untrue and truth-telling attempts are forced down as happened in the Supreme Court during Sue’s Appeal when Meaghan Vass was completely unable to express her truth freely in a safe working environment.
The police intimidated her prior to her appearance and in the aftermath and the conduct of the lawyers on the day was inadmissible. You would expect a Court to be a SAFE workplace that maintains Health & Safety Standards as required by law!!!
Andrew – Truth always rises like cream to the surface – Dave Henwood a highly awarded criminal profiler went public to state NZ had an innocent man imprisoned in an identical way Barbara Etter has done and he was SLAPPED DOWN by his colleagues as she has been – it’s a burden on very bright individuals to be disbelieved by duller minds – eventually it was agreed Teina Pora was innocent and it will be Sue’s turn soon – it’s becoming so embarrassing for the State of Tasmania their law enforcement are so intransigent and rigid minded – Dave said people become habituated into believing a lie and resist having their minds open to truth – it became very frustrating for him as it is for Barbara when truth is screaming out to be believed – and for those that do, it is sooooo simple and logical!!
Pauline Chalmers, your comment highlights the attempts by Ms. Barbara Etter and highly credible others to get the truth out into the public arena, Ms. Etters career has been an outstanding career all based on her achievements and her integrity. It is arguable her career had been ruined by the severe aspersions and the following actions having been cast her way through and by Tasmania’s Legal Professional Board.
This has become another blight brought about by the extreme bias and injustice that has become a rather negative hallmark still alive and breathing in this State of Tasmania.
In times past I understand the State’s Legal and Professional Board had lost the decision on the 2 occasions when their combined assessments had each been challenged in Tasmania’s Supreme Court, which had resulted in their defeat by the challengers.
Andrew. You have not got back to me regarding my Keogh story.
What is happening?
Please read my reply to you. I said sorry, but your ‘Keogh story’ was basically pointless conjecture.
Excellent Quiz and right on the money.
Everyone, keep up the pressure for Sue’s release.
“If even one innocent person is incarcerated none of us are truly free.”
Been there Rodger, done 14 years in Tasmania; learnt all their dirty secrets.
From redneck village to Parliament, Bureaucracy, Local Govt, Police Force, Private Enterprise, Maximum Prison.
My nicest Tasmanian friends were some in Risdon Maximum.
Ex Ashley Boys in their 50’s.
I had to stand up or fold to a murderer, latest recent inmate and his coee.
I didn’t back down so I guess I got respect from even the hardest crims in there, because I was befriended, by a nice guy who was maniacally violent and another nice guy who was just as violent. I found that these people where manifested all their lives from Ashley onwards.
They recognised I was a good guy, wouldnt back down, and showed them respect.
Thats all it takes.
They will be my friends for ever.