Sue Neill-Fraser's conviction WRONG! Needs Royal Commission.
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Sue Neill-Fraser has suffered injustice beyond imagination, now reaching 8 years (of 23 years) incarceration for murdering Bob Chappell, while other suspects go unchallenged and not investigated. Bob’s body was never found. It was an entirely circumstantial case and there should only be one scenario to explain the facts. Yet Sue was found guilty of murder despite other DNA at the crime scene.
The Tasmania Police investigation into the death of Bob Chappell was flawed and devoid of sound crime scene analysis. The forensics were problematic. Witnesses were mistaken. Some lied, others were never located.
Sue’s ‘lies’, ‘changing stories’ and ‘cold demeanour’ were always considered confirmation of a person guilty of murder vs. a person in shock and reacting to trauma.
Tunnel vision began early. A witness with a violent background who had previously threatened Sue and Bob, came forward within a day (hoping for a deal for his own pending charges) and told police a story about Sue plotting to kill Bob, and her brother, years before. From then on Sue never had the benefit of a thorough police investigation.
1. OTHER DNA AT THE CRIME SCENE – on the deck of the yacht – matched to a young person who lied about her whereabouts that night. Why was she never investigated properly, or her associates? Was it all placed in the too hard basket because Sue had been arrested months before?
2. Other (obvious) suspects, there at the time, were not investigated.
3. There was a VERY different dinghy to Sue's at the crime scene, seen by 4 people, not followed up at the time.
4. Why did the DPP tell the jury Sue cleaned up the crime with latex gloves, when someone else’s DNA was in the glove?
5. Sue was not involved in the disappearance of another man, who was 35 years later found to have suicided, so why mention it at trial?
6. The jury was misled by speculation from the DPP in his closing address:
"She's walking backwards and forwards and delivers blow - a blow or blows, or maybe stabs him with a screwdriver, I don't know, he doesn't look round, and so the body doesn't have any marks of what you'd expect if someone had come down there, a stranger, intent on doing him harm, the body I suggest would have marks consistent only with being delivered by someone who he knew to be there, who he knew and expected to be behind him."
7. Indeed, the case revolved around a crime scene with no body, no weapon(s), no forensics linking Sue to the crime scene, no eye witnesses.
8. With no blood in Sue’s dinghy, why show the jury a prejudicial picture of the dinghy glowing blue with luminol, yet no confirmatory tests showing blood?
9. Sue could not have winched the body as described in court.
10. A witness who reported seeing the yacht, and Bob alive at 5pm, was looking at the wrong yacht and wrong man.
11. A witness thought she saw Bob and Sue arguing on the foreshore – turns out to be the day before and Bob's sister. Not Sue.
12. A man with slender build and long hair, in his dinghy at same location round midnight, was likely the ‘woman’ a witness saw – presumed to be Sue.
13. A supposed cut on Sue’s thumb ‘emerged’ weeks later but was never photographed or investigated despite supposed police concern day 1 of the investigation.
The public should be outraged. Imagine if it was your loved one locked up for 8 years wrongfully convicted?
This requires a Royal Commission, a proper search for the truth about what happened to Bob Chappell on Australia Day 2009. It must unearth what went wrong in the Police investigation and in the courts so systemic problems can be explored and positive changes made for the future of Australia’s justice system.
We should all stand up and demand a proper, thorough, independent investigation into the death of Bob Chappell, and the overturning of this unsafe conviction. It is not enough to say “the court” will deal with it through the new appeal process. It is a slow painful adversarial process, and one that has in the past repeatedly failed Sue.
Sue must be given back her life! She lost her partner, her home, her reputation, her livelihood. She missed caring for her dying mother, she is missing sharing life with her daughters and 4 grandchildren. She is now in a wheelchair. The longer this goes on the more outrageous it becomes. It’s a wrongful conviction.
And if Sue is not guilty, the perpetrator(s) must be found and prosecuted.
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