Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Questions over Bob Chappell murder case. Appeal rejected

Barbara Etter

The former head of Tasmania’s Integrity Commission is urging police to re-open the case into the disappearance of Hobart man, Bob Chappell.

Barbara Etter believes a person of interest may not have been followed up by police who investigated the case.

Ms Etter was engaged to review the case by the family of Susan Neill-Fraser, who is serving 26 years in jail for murdering the 65-year-old.

Neill-Fraser was Bob Chappell’s long-term partner.

He was last seen on board the couple’s yacht, ‘Four Winds’, on Hobart’s River Derwent on Australia Day in 2009.

Mr Chappell’s body has never been found.

Ms Etter says she believes police may have overlooked a person of interest.

“I was very concerned I thought this line of inquiry needs urgent investigation.”

Ms Etter says she alerted the Police Commissioner two weeks ago but is concerned the matter will not be pursued vigorously.

The Assistant Commissioner, Phil Wilkinson, says police were already aware of a person interest and the information will be considered.

He says any action that is taken will be guided by investigative procedures.

ABC Online here

• First published: 2012-02-28 09:27 AM

• Examiner, Tuuesday, Mar 6: Female killer has sentence reduced

A Hobart woman who was sentenced to 26 years’ jail for killing her partner has had her sentence reduced.

In October 2010, Susan Blyth Neill-Fraser was sentenced to 26 years’ jail with a non-parole period of 18 years for murdering radiation physicist Bob Chappel, who was last seen on board the couple’s yacht Four Winds on Australia Day, 2009. His body was never found.

Neill-Fraser appealed against both her conviction and the sentence.

A full bench of the Tasmanian Court of Criminal Appeal this morning rejected the appeal against the conviction, however the appeal against Neill-Fraser’s sentence was allowed.

Justice Ewan Crawford, Justice Shan Tennent and Justice David Porter reduced Neill-Fraser’s sentence to 23 years with a non-parole period of 13 years.


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  1. moo

    March 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I sat in the public gallery every day of Ms Blyth Neill-Frasers trial in 2010 I heard the same evidence the jury did and saw the same exhibits they did. I believe the jury made the correct decision. In their place I would have voted the same way.

  2. Greg Smith

    March 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Kay at #3, what sort of threats did they allege you had made? Some threats can constitute a crime if one persists to much.

  3. Mont Bissett

    March 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    editor’s note: comment deleted – see points 1 & 2 of TT code http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php/pages/legalbits

  4. Tom Bailey

    February 29, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Of course Ms Etter couldn’t find any evidence of malfeasance because she was never meant to. She was thwarted and undermined every step of the way (common practice in the bowels of power)and just meant to be a high profile figurehead. Only she wouldn’t have realised that at the time she took up the appointment.

    What would any person with a modicum of moral integrity do? Put up with it and draw the big pay cheque each fortnight or resign so her good name could not be associated with the sham it was always intended to be.

    What would have been unexpected is that such a high profile appointee would go public and then sue them. Absolutely wonderful! At last, someone the bureaucrats couldn’t bully in to submission.

    Do we honestly think this is the only example of this hollowness in this state? It’s all about public perception. The perception that the government is doing the right thing in setting up these commissions/councils to act as public arbiters of all things righteous and even-sided; whereas, in reality they are simply show ponies and front men to rubberstamp the presiding bureaucrat’s wishes.

    Obviously, there are some who are perfectly happy to be government lackeys. Ms Etter is not one of them.

  5. PB

    February 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    It is ironic that Barbara Etter could find no evidence of malfeasance during her time at the sham Integrity Commission yet now has the gall to accuse the police of overlooking evidence.

  6. Kay Seltitzas

    February 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I made a serious complaint to the Tasmanian Police, and ultimately the Federal Police, after being threatened by two Hobart detectives at my home in Rosebery. The message was “Stop threatening Roscoe Taylor or else……… The result was NIL and they got away with it. Only in Tasmania…….
    Kay Seltitzas

  7. C. Greene

    February 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    What a surprise.
    An investigator hired by the family of the convicted killer has found a problem with the police investigation.
    No investigation, or related criminal proceedings are perfect but it should be remembered 12 of the defendant’s peers found her guilty.
    If the accused or her supporters have a strong case in support of a dangerous conviction then I have no doubt an appeal will be forthcoming.
    However, grounding an argument on the absence of a body, when the nature of the crime makes it’s discovery neigh on impossible, seems to me akin to an argument of last resort.

  8. Isla MacGregor

    February 28, 2012 at 10:51 am

    From Isla MacGregor and Jennie Herrera from Whistleblowers Tasmania.

    This raises the vital ongoing question about the inability of Tasmanian citizens to gain external review of complaints about police.

    The Tasmanian Integrity Commission website posted on 5th January 2012 the following statement:

    ‘Mr Kellam said broader issues about oversight of Tasmania Police and access to police information systems, raised in the Commission’s first annual report, had been identified as policy matters which need to be considered by the State Government, in conjunction with the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Integrity.’

    Why has it taken the Tasmanian State Government so many decades to implement a simple policy, similar to most other states in Australia, to establish proper external review of police in Tasmania?

    Had we had a proper system of review into police complaints – would Sue Neill-Fraser have ever been charged with murder?

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