Neill-Fraser supporters cite Folbigg pardon in call for inquiry

Rosie Crumpton-Crook, President of the Neill-Fraser Support Group, today said in a statement to media that: “Supporters of Sue Neill-Fraser welcomed the news that Kathleen Folbigg had been pardoned, and we wish her well. The case of Susan Neill-Fraser in Tasmania should be the next to be resolved.”

Ms Crumpton-Crook stated that: “the Kathleen Folbigg case is a clear demonstration of how the appeals system fails cases of miscarriages of justice.  In light of this case, Tasmanian Attorney-General, the Hon. Elise Archer, must establish a Commission of Inquiry into the entirely circumstantial murder conviction of Sue Neill-Fraser in Tasmania in 2010.”

Sue Neill-Fraser served 13 years in prison and has always strongly proclaimed her innocence.

She was found guilty of a murder on a yacht moored off Sandy Bay in Hobart, where there was no weapon, no body, no witness to the event, no plausible motive and no forensics linking her to the crime. To the contrary, there is DNA evidence linking at least one other person, Ms Meaghan Vass, to the Fours Winds yacht and unknown DNA of others. Ms Vass has admitted publicly to being on the yacht the night Bob Chappell died.

Ms Crumpton-Crook said that: “There are significant concerns about the Neil-Fraser case in relation to the adequacy of the police investigation, the forensic science evidence presented to the courts and the failure to disclose all relevant materials. A number of these deficiencies were exposed under Parliamentary Privilege with the tabling of the Etter/Selby papers by the Hon. Mike Gaffney in the Legislative Council on 31 August 2021. Sadly, the Tasmanian Government has never formally responded to the papers.”

Ms Crumpton-Crook stated that the issues regarding forensic science included:

  • “False and misleading evidence from a FSST scientist about the luminol preliminary testing and blood in the dinghy (which was said to have been used to remove the body of the victim, Mr Bob Chappell). The jury was not told that all confirmatory tests for blood were negative;
  • The flawed “reconstruction” of the winching exercise from below decks which was said to have been undertaken by Neill-Fraser to get Bob’s body up from below decks;
  • The presentation of the critical red jacket as an exhibit with a continuous chain of custody when it had been lost for several days in the police car park;
  • The incomplete and flawed forensic evidence at the trial about the true nature (large volume and high quality) sample of the DNA of Ms Vass, found on the deck of the yacht, without reasonable explanation. It was argued and accepted at trial that it may have come in on the bottom of a police officer’s shoe;
  • The issue of missing and potentially critical exhibits from the major Forensic Biology Report.It appears that there were also issues of material non-disclosure by the Crown as highlighted in the Etter/Selby papers and in a recent submission by Civil Liberties Australia to a Tasmanian Parliamentary Inquiry into Adult Imprisonment.”

Former Tasmanian Premier and Attorney-General, Lara Giddings stated “The Folbigg case has shown that our courts do get it wrong.  It shows the court appeals system is not an adequate safeguard against miscarriages of justice.

“Even the right to further appeal legislation in Tasmania requires fresh and compelling evidence to re-open a case. It does not allow for a review of the first trial; it does not allow for a review of the competency of legal teams; it does not allow for a review of police files and the original investigation undertaken.

“There are lessons to be learnt from the Folbigg case, the Eastman case, the Chamberlain case, the Mallard case among others. In the case of Sue Neill-Fraser there are too many questions left unanswered, too many mistakes made and too many assumptions made not to have reasonable doubt about her guilt too.

“The Tasmania Government must have the courage to open the Neill-Fraser case up to an independent review.

“A Commission of Inquiry is the best mechanism for such a review, which must be headed up by an independent, interstate judge, retired or not.

“If there is nothing to hide, no one should fear a Commission of Inquiry. We are all human, we all make mistakes, but we must not let our fear of being exposed for those mistakes, prevent a woman from clearing her name and living her life free of the label of “convicted murderer”.

Mr Bill Rowlings OAM, Secretary of CLA, stated “Forensics have freed Folbigg. They would help acquit Sue Neill-Fraser for a 2010 wrongful conviction of murder if only the available material, not looked at for 14 years and some of it never forensically examined, was re-tested for DNA by an independent forensic laboratory/expert and not one that is part of the Tasmania Police, and which is formally controlled by the Police Commissioner”.

Ms Crumpton-Crook said, “There is an urgent need for a national Criminal Cases Review Commission but, more importantly, it is time for an urgent Commission of Inquiry in Tasmania into the Sue Neill-Fraser case and associated criminal justice issues. Sue will not be truly free until her conviction is overturned.”


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19 Responses to Neill-Fraser supporters cite Folbigg pardon in call for inquiry

  1. Father Ted Whalensky says:

    The Barstardary dealings with SNF Sue are no worse than the Death Penalty and Scurrilous Police Behaviour to Darryl Beamish- John Button – David Eastman and many many more VICTIMS of the SWINE !

  2. Garry Stannus says:

    thanks for the article. I’m wondering whether Sue Neill-Fraser would now be better off, if we cut her free of her possible sense of duty and/or sense of obligation to repay all the support that she has received from her supporters over the years.

    Perhaps we should free her from our enlistment of her in the general causes of justice and/or wrongful conviction.

    I accept the tenor of Rosie (Crumpton-Crook)’s article… a Commission of Inquiry. Yes, but perhaps we (Australians) all should be thinking of general responses to individual examples of wrongful conviction and the like…

    We’ve been asking for such a thing … that long … that at the national level, I forget what we would call it … oh, hang on … it’s a ‘Criminal Cases Review Commission’. Maybe we have meant it to operate at a national level (like the High Court) or maybe we have wanted it to also be there at a state level, before the need for ‘the Feds’. But do we want it to be simply a Commission of Inquiry into the conviction of Sue Neill-Fraser, or would it be better to have a permanent, established Criminal Cases Review Commission?

    Rosie Crumpton-Crook (President of the Neill-Fraser Supporters Group – to which I belong) canvasses both options – which is, in my opinion, a reasonable attitude.

    Pardon me for not being quite able to express my concern succinctly, but, is there some way by which we can take the cross from Sue’s shoulders and make the issue about general justice provisions, rather than specific cases, such as Sue’s?

    • Owen allen says:

      Criminal Case Review Commission is not resting on Sue Niell -Frasers shoulders, there are many others. But Sue’s case in Tasmania, is way past the norm of legal dysfunction. It is absurd this has gone on for so long with so much stubborness for True Justice in Tasmania.
      I have commented many times before, Tasmania Police are Too Corrupt to do anything about, as told to my wife and myself by the Tasmania Leader of Opposition in 1997. There has been no Royal Commission in Tasmania like the Fitzgerald Enquiry in Queensland so nothing will have changed, the culture and protection through out a Close Knit Society where public servants statewide out number per capita any other western world society.

  3. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    Nothing better than a wonderful debate as I would assume an apparent PhD. would be aware of. Thanks again Andrew for posting the comments of ‘Dr Carry C.P’.
    Dr Carry you raise interesting points and one is; “interpretations”.
    I have no doubt that we all can interpret many things one way or the other but one I would never wish to interpret is the admission of one’s words.
    I leave that to genuine experts who want to accept truth-telling and admissions by someone who knows fine well that Sue Neill-Fraser was not present at the time that she herself was sick on the yacht. The DNA proves that it was hers but unlike the ‘experts’ who put Kathleen Folbigg in prison the sciences have now been clearly updated and I put my case forward on the “objective” basis that when updated scientific evidence is forthcoming SueNeill-Fraser will not only be exonerated but ‘experts’ such as yourself may cringe at the findings-once again.
    However as I said initially, nothing like a wonderful debate when you have the facts behind you, not interpretations.

  4. Carry C.P. says:

    Pardon me for interrupting. I just want to ask why are Sue’s supporters, particularly Ms Giddings, ignoring the full forensic evidence from the defence forensic expert?

    I also understand that a certain scientist from Adelaide suggested to Ms Giddings several years ago that it would have been best to provide forensic data on how quickly DNA in blood or saliva will degrade when exposed to the sun’s UV radiation on a deck of a yacht during midsummer. That’s the type of new forensic evidence that would have been far better than relying on Maxwell Jones’ expert opinion on how long Meaghan Vass’ DNA was on the deck of Four Winds.

    Dr Carry C.P.

    • Garry Stannus says:

      What a bloody joke … you’ve let this drivel on again, Editor. Whatever a “certain scientist from Adelaide suggested” … does not qualify as any type of “new forensic evidence”.

      Forensic evidence is that which is presented in court. Our ‘certain scientist from Adelaide’ has not given evidence in court … in fact, he couldn’t, because he has never examined any of the trial exhibits, has never examined the Four Winds and has never viewed the river … and while he is a scientist, he has no accredited expertise in DNA, none in winches and nothing which would – despite his best efforts – gain him access to the ‘Expert Witness Stand’ at any of the Leave-Application Appeal hearings.

      This “certain scientist from Adelaide” even asked us to pay him to come to Tassie to give his so-called professional view. [It’s on the record … ] His first appearance on a public (Tasmanian) forum, was to belittle Sue’s supporters and in doing so, he wrongly accorded to Bob Chappell a doctorate /medical qualification and called him ‘Dr Chapman’.

      Andrew, Carry C.P. does not impress me. He/She seems to be just another of that Adelaide scientist’s acolytes or ‘alter egos’. I’m sorry (for your sake) for my intemperate beginning and I thank you for your continued opposition to wrongful convictions and your support for justice.

  5. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    Relevant points that you raise Rosie and for whatever reason the current Tasmanian Attorney-General can’t seem to want to know about or act on them. It is baffling!
    Where also have the Etter/Selby papers been confined to in the Parliament? It certainly has a wonderful library to bury them in.
    As spokesperson and President of the support group who continue to protest on behalf of Sue Neill-Fraser particularly in Hobart the indicators are pointedly in your favour.
    Points of concern raised by Rosie with significant relevance to the Kathleen Folbigg unconditional pardon should further raise concerns for the former Tasmanian Public Prosecutor who provided a litany of unproven hypotheticals to the trial jury but worse still the presiding Justice who could have and should have but didn’t dismiss the hypotheticals, in fact he reminded the jury of them. He now could have concerns also.
    They should both keep in mind that the rewards of their fealty are not without challenge in the light of one highly decorated VC’s arrogance to dare challenge truth-telling media coverage of potential war crimes. They could all come crashing down with ‘waiting out there’ new evidence of their misdemeanours and they all now know it!
    Thank goodness for staunch supporters and their relentless pursuit for justice.
    I must therefore fully support Rosie’s call for an urgent Commission of Inquiry into Sue Neill-Fraser’s case which should have occurred a long time ago then to go one further have the government of the day legislate for a CCRC in Tasmania to once and for all seek closure and exonerate a ‘wrongfully convicted woman who was blatantly and circumstantially incarcerated for many years as well.
    Still yet no dead person from the “Four Winds” yacht has ever found been found in this ‘murder conviction’, no motive for getting rid of Sue Neill-Fraser’s long time partner was ever proven other than more lugubrious hypotheticals.
    DNA was found and apparently in this arena of hypotheticals it came from a boot but only in one spot and no further boot stained DNA was provided as evidence while we were all made aware of the admission from the young lady who said she was on the yacht with others on the alleged date of Sue Neill-Fraser’s partners disappearance and that she had “vomited” connecting the DNA found to her and yet the hypotheticals continued.
    Even ‘Geoffrey Robertson’ might I say would have been outdone here with these pantomime performances🙈🙈🙈.

    • Carry C.P. says:

      My scientific mind isn’t baffled at all.

      1. There is sufficient evidence that Bob’s body was removed through the saloon’s skylite hatch and that it was done with the mechanical assistance of a winch on the main mast.

      2. If you know how to interpret it, there is sufficient scientific evidence that Meaghan’s DNA was deposited at least 24 to 48 hours after the night of Bob’s murder.

      3. If you know how to interpret it correctly, there is sufficient evidence in the trial transcript that the dinghy that was spotted at portside of Four Winds at 3:55pm and at 5pm was most likely a white dinghy but was perceived to be grey because the eyewitness were affected by glare that was caused by reflection of sunlight from water’s surface.

      4. There is sufficient evidence in the trial transcript that Meaghan Vass couldn’t have physically boarded Four Winds by the time a ‘grey’ looking dinghy was spotted at portside of Four Winds by Mr Conde and his cousin at 3:55 pm. Meaghan Vass left Mara House (about 6 km from the Marieville Esplanade) at 3:50 pm.

      Be unbiased and objective. It is then easy to conclude that Vass wasn’t on Four Winds at all on the night of Bob’s murder.

      Dr Carry C.P.

      • andrew says:

        Reluctant as I am to reopen this can of worms about Vass and her DNA – having previously stated that I didn’t want to publish any more of these misguided attempts to discredit the evidence – I am relenting only to try and once again respond to those like commenter Dr Carry C.P. … hoping to deter them. First, please read the article that addresses this matter at:
        Second, irrespective of Vass, the conviction is unsafe because the prosecution did not present any evidence that Sue Neill-Fraser murdered Bob Chappell. There are over 200 articles on this blog alone that can be researched to show why it is regarded by many, including lawyers, as a wrongful conviction. That is one reason why I didn’t want to keep regurgitating the Vass DNA furphy. The other is that these propositions are really annoying. Again, refer to Keep Vass off the boat to see why ….

        • Carry C.P. says:

          Thank you for posting my two comments, Andrew.

          There is nothing further that I can add other than a renewed call for Etter and Giddings to organise forensic experiments with relevant experts to see how quickly DNA in blood or saliva will decay when exposed to the sun’s UV during midsummer on a deck of a yacht. I believe in hard scientific data. It was the hard scientific data that helped Folbigg. It was hard scientific data that helped Keogh. Science works.

          • andrew says:

            As a final note on your comments: the DNA was obtained from a sample (quite a large deposit) which Vass described as her vomit. Not blood. Not saliva.

      • Owen allen says:

        I am feeling sick. Reading tripe.

  6. John Ferris says:

    Recent scientific advances helped to pardon Kathleen Folbigg. Earlier scientific advances such as DNA analysis should have seen Sue Neill-Fraser pardoned many years earlier. Both “not guilty, beyond reasonable doubt”.

  7. Father Ted Whalensky says:

    Andrew – your introduction explains clearly the problem many of us – both the Cream and the Skim milk have with the Tasmanian Justice Delivery System – in this case of “Doing over a Granny” – Is this just a warning message from our DEAR Leaders – watch your step – we can do a Stalin on you anytime- so pull your heads in ! How else can the lack of remedial action be explained ?

  8. Owen allen says:

    Moral deficiency, I remind them,

    To Ignore Evil is to Become an Accomplice to it,
    Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr.
    All That it Takes For Evil to Prosper,
    Is Men of Goodwill to do Nothing.
    Edmund Bourke.

  9. Rodger Warren says:

    Hi Andrew
    If it can happen, It will happen.
    Thanks for keeping the pressure on.
    Rodger Warren

  10. Owen allen says:

    National Criminal Case Review Commission for Australia.
    Tasmanian Federal Senators could lead the charge in Canberra.
    Is that how it works?

    • andrew says:

      Not quite…Bob Moles has advised that “A national CCRC can be established by setting up a single CCRC and then each state and territory can legislate to nominate that CCRC as the appropriate agency to review cases on its behalf and exercise powers given to the CCRC by that state to refer matters to the appeal court of that state. This would not involve any constitutional change of any sort.” It just take the good will and determination of the political class. Don’t laugh…Bob and I have proposed this to the last three or four Federal Attorneys-Genral to start the ball rolling. They could provide the impetus for the States.

      • Owen allen says:

        I ain’t laughing Andrew, thanks for the heads up.
        You mention political class. I guess I must be nieve to think in Australia we are free of classes. I say that tongue in cheek, Australia is not the wonderful country some people think it is. I hope I can help, this might be the catalyst I need to conquer depression; humans are more likely to help others than themselves, ( some, anyway). International embarrasment works in some cases; Why is Australia lagging behind, NZ, or the UK or Canada, or the USA.
        Are Australian Politicians morally deficient when it comes to Justice, or hiding something?

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