Miscarriages of Justice


Sue Neill-Fraser is now in her 7th year in Risdon Prison at Lindisfarne in Tasmania. Sue Neill-Fraser was found guilty of murdering Bob Chappell, her de facto husband, on Australia Day 2009. At the time, Bob was the chief physicist at the Royal Hobart Hospital. In 2008, Bob and Sue bought a 55 foot ketch called The Four Winds from a marina at Scarborough in Queensland. They sailed it back to Hobart and moored it in the Derwent River. On the eve of Australia Day 2009, Bob slept on board the yacht to complete some repairs. Sue slept at home that night. The next morning (26 January 2009) police discovered that the ketch was listing in the water and that Bob was missing. His body has never been found. The police claimed that Sue came to the yacht that night, and killed Bob Chappell to gain her inheritance from his will, including the $200,000 yacht. Sue Neill-Fraser was charged with the murder of Bob Chappell, found guilty by a jury, and was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Sue has always maintained her innocence. She lost her appeal, and she also lost the right to take her case to the High Court. But her legal team has taken advantage of Tasmania's 2015 adoption of the new 'right-of-appeal' legislation which allows a further appeal if 'new and compelling evidence' can be demonstrated involving a significant miscarriage of justice case. Sue's legal team believe that they have 'new and compelling evidence' and the Tasmanian legal authorities have allocated a hearing date for this new appeal on 25 July 2017. But on 21 June 2017 Sue's legal team had a setback. On that day, Sue's long-time instructing solicitor, Barbara Etter, announced that she was stepping aside from the case. This has surprised everyone. Barbara Etter's withdrawal from Sue Neill-Fraser's defence team now throws preparations for a hearing date on 25 July 2017 into doubt. More to follow.

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