Susan Neill-Fraser legal defeat

August 13, 2022 1:41 am in by

An application to appeal the murder conviction of Susan Neill-Fraser has been refused by the High Court, leaving legal options exhausted.

Serving 23 years jail for the 2009 murder of partner Bob Chappell on their yacht in Hobart, the 68 year old’s supporters who claim her innocence are pursuing the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry.

Neill-Fraser is eligible for parole this month, but her supporter Rosie Crumpton-Crook doesn’t know if she will apply.

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“I know Sue has said in the past that she would refuse parole if there was any suggestion that she would have to admit guilt or show remorse, she doesn’t have to do that in Tasmania, but I think she does not want to leave prison as a convicted murderer….I really hope that she can get parole and come out, be with her family and we’ll continue to fight for her while she’s out, I think Sue’s worried that when you are on parole you can’t speak out for yourself, but we’ll do that for her.”

Media Statement from the family of Sue Neill-Fraser:

August 12, 2022

Today, it is with deep sadness, frustration and disappointment that we announce that Sue Neill-Fraser has lost her bid for ‘Special Leave to Appeal’ to the High Court of Australia to overturn her murder conviction of her long-time partner Bob Chappell who vanished from their yacht,Four Winds, in Hobart on Australia Day, 2009.

Sue and her family had hoped a door was finally opening to obtain justice, but the High Court is restricted in what they can consider and despite the strong representation from the pro-bono legal team, her leave application was dismissed.

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Sue’s daughter Sarah Bowles said, “Mum has been brave and stoic for 13 years in jail, always maintaining her innocence, and we will not be deterred in our efforts to overturn what is a clear miscarriage of justice.” 

The judicial system is not equipped to deal inquisitorially into the actual truth. That is a function only discharged by a properly constituted independent inquiry, as was demonstrated in the Chamberlain and Eastman cases.

Sarah Bowles said, “Australia needs a better way to handle wrongful convictions such as the British system provides. Every Australian should be concerned by this case. We will continue to fight to press for an Independent Commission of Inquiry.”


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