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Sue-Neill Fraser’s final appeal case heard in Hobart Supreme Court

The prosecution team in the long-running Sue Neill-Fraser murder case has dismissed new so-called fresh and compelling evidence, used as justification for a last-ditch appeal to overturn a 2010 conviction.

Crime scene investigator Mark Reynolds took the stand in the Hobart Supreme Court on Thursday with three reports that were critical of Forensic Science Service Tasmania’s crime scene and laboratory analyses.

Neill-Fraser is serving 23 years in jail after a jury decided in the original trial that she had killed her partner Bob Chappell on Australia Day in 2009 while aboard their yacht outside Hobart.

The prosecution argued that she had winched his body onto a dinghy and disposed of it in the River Derwent.

A murder weapon and body were never found.

Dr Reynolds prepared three reports on blood stain pattern and trace blood analysis as well as the the state of the winch and ropes on the yacht …

Read more here …

http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5273946/fresh-and-compelling-evidence-criticised-by-dpp/?cs=95

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Dr Peter Lozo

    March 24, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    #19 John W

    YES she does (a few days later). Then sometimes after that Sue changes her story (with Bob’s sister) again after it was reported that an eyewitness saw a person on a dinghy late at night. The final version she gave to the police in May 2009 has her walking the distance between her home and the riverbank 3 times late that night!

    See
    #577 & #578

    http://www.oldtt.pixelkey.biz.au/index.php/article/tim-ellis-and-the-australian-womens-weekly-

  2. John Wiseman

    March 23, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Dr Peter Lozo
    Am I correct that SNF went for the radio interview to change her story immediately after the police told one her daughters that they had an image of Sue”s vehicle from a CCTV in Sandy Bay?

  3. Dr Peter Lozo

    March 14, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    The mountain of lies

    The lies (as far as we know from the Trial Transcript) started over a month before Bob’s disappearance. Here are the first two:

    1. During the delivery of the yacht to Hobart she told the two crewmen that she and Bob had separated.

    2. Sometime in mid-January of 2009, Sue called the yacht broker in Brisbane and during the course of the conversation Sue told him that she and Bob had separated. The news footage from 2010 during the trial is below

    https://youtu.be/hkn166eyA00

    So, in my opinion, it is ridiculous to use the police and their interrogation techniques as an excuse for Sue’s lies.

    Sue wasn’t really ‘interrogated’ until May of 2009 after the police found out indirectly that she went out that night (via the Radio Reporter who interviewed both Sue and Peter Powell independently; and via a recorded phone conversation between Sue and Bob’s sister, which was bugged; via detectives taking a trip to Sydney to talk to Bob’s sister).

    Sue had plenty of time before May 2009 to recall where she was between 4 pm and 9 pm. But was it in her best interest to do that and tell the police where she was and what was she doing during those 5 unexplained hours??? Surely if she had nothing to hide she would have used all sorts of techniques to recall (if not directly then via associations, retracing her movements of that day, etc). She had over 3 months between the Australia Day and her final interview in May to get her act together as to where she was for 5 hours between 4 pm and 9 pm and what was she doing during that time. But she instead arranges for an interview with a radio reporter to break her the news that she did go out to the riverbank late that night! Did she call the police to tell them??

  4. Tony Stone

    March 14, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    #16, Some of us have a wide experience in life and most have a very narrow one. Those that have the narrow experience, are the egocentrics, trying to claim they have more knowledge when they have no idea. Those with a wide experience in life, have no need for egocentricity, their lives, understanding and knowledge speak for themselves.

    I’m going by experience in regard to the justice system, not just my own experience in police interrogation. The many many times have listened to customers, interviewed by police and some after court appearances in a number of jurisdictions.

    The only ones who got rattled, were those convicted, as they tried to construct stories to cover their tracks and were easily caught out.

    It’s the same in this case, if she had nothing to hide she would not have told such lies and then tried to change her stories a number of times. She would also have been able to identify her movements during the times she has refused to.

    Of course, people do make mistakes when nervous, but if they are not involved, they can easily rectify those mistake quickly. The woman has not been able to provide anything to support her movements or whereabouts and has told blatant lies.

  5. John Biggs

    March 14, 2018 at 11:27 am

    #13 “When you are confident with your facts and have nothing to hide, you never get rattled”

    You are an unusual person then. Don’t make the egocentric mistake that because you react or don’t react in a certain way then that is true of all other people.

  6. Russell

    March 14, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Re #2
    Exactly Mike.

  7. Dr Peter Lozo

    March 13, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    An intelligent zombie behaviour (awake brain but prefrontal cortex still asleep)

    Is it not very strange that whilst a number of people (some rather unusual characters!!) have come forward to provide statements at this appeal but not a single soul,  not even a taxi driver or a petrol station attendant or a shop assistant or a street walker or a cyclist or a night stalker, etc, etc, has come forward since 27th Jan 2009 to say that they had spotted Sue on land between 2:30 pm of 26th  and about 7:30  the next morning!

    If you think the above is strange, what is even stranger is that even Sue Neill-Fraser cannot tell you where she was for 5 hours (between 4 pm and 9 pm) on 26th Jan; and then had a great difficulty in choosing the best version to tell the police as to her whereabouts from about 11 pm to about 3 am. The lady does not even recall dialling *#10 on her landline shortly after 3 am. But, from what I read in the trial transcript, she had memory of what happened between 9 pm and 10:30 pm when she was on the phone chatting to a few people. What the heck is going on here??

    If we are to believe that Sue had lost her memory (was sleep walking?) then how on earth would she know whether or not she killed anyone during those ‘amnesic hours‘?? How on earth would she know that it wasn’t her on that dinghy that was spotted motoring away from the location of Four Winds at around 7:45 pm – 8:30 pm? How would she know that it wasn’t her on that dinghy that was motoring past the Sandy Bay Rowing Shed at around 11:30 pm – midnight? It is as if Sue’s prefrontal cortex fell asleep for about 4 hours on two occasions two hours apart (4pm – 9pm; 11pm – 3am) during which she went about her life in an automatic mode – during which memories cannot be formed because the prefrontal cortex is required for a working memory and high level cognitive decisions. Thus, Sue turned into an intelligent zombie for 8 hours back in January 2009!!!

  8. Tony Stone

    March 13, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    #5 … “And this “those that have nothing to hide, don’t lie.” How naive! Haven’t you ever been rattled? Being heavily questioned by police when your partner has gone missing would unnerve anyone to the point where one is likely to mix up events, like the Bunnings incident. You can’t hang a murder on that!”

    People with nothing to hide don’t get rattled as only those lying or concealing events get rattled. Of course pathological liars and ideologues wouldn’t understand that as their lives are total lies.

    Have been interrogated by the police on a couple of occasions, when false accusations were made against me. It was easy to stick to the truth no matter what they tried to imply, not rocket science to be truthful and when you are, you benefit greatly.

    Police interrogations always start off pleasantly; it’s when they catch you in a lie, or trying to deceive, that they put the pressure on and liars come undone.

    When you are confident with your facts and have nothing to hide, you never get rattled. It’s only liars who have to make up stories, then change them and get caught out.

    The Bunnings story is just so a case, but people do make mistakes with times etc. However remembering something like that, especially when it relates to such a serious situation, would not be hard to do.

    Changing your story and being unable to provide any form of evidence of your whereabouts for hours is not circumstantial, but fact. When a business closes 2 hours before you claim you were in there, it is not getting rattled, but lying.

    When you try changing your story a number of times, the only real conclusion that can be drawn is you are hiding the truth to protect yourself or others.

    As for the other so called unfindable witnesses, they probably don’t exist and were made up, or the timing and circumstances were misinterpreted.

    Someone who supposedly spent many hours in Bunnings would be perfectly aware of its closing times as they are posted in many places, and where were the receipts and bank statements for her purchases?

    This doesn’t explain why she left him on board without a tender overnight, and why she didn’t return first thing in the morning to collect him. No one does that unless they intend returning quickly, or there is no one on board any more.

  9. Dr Peter Lozo

    March 13, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    #11

    Where is the word reasonable in your post #8??

    You also wrote “The police simply dismissed this and other possibilities.”.

    Perhaps the police dismissed some things because they didn’t consider, on the basis of what they had discovered by that time, that there was a reasonable possibility of these other things be connected to the crime.

  10. John Biggs

    March 13, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    #10. Ok reasonable. Now reread my post

  11. Dr Peter Lozo

    March 13, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    A small addition to my most recent post:

    Here is the relevant extract from an online comment written by a NSW based lawyer (I read this some time ago):

    “Circumstantial Evidence in the Courtroom”

    https://nswcourts.com.au/articles/circumstantial-evidence-in-the-courtroom/


    “In circumstantial cases, if there is evidence of a “reasonable hypothesis consistent with innocence” then the defendant must be found “not guilty”. However, if there is no such reasonable explanation, the jury can infer guilt and find the defendant guilty.

    Note the use of the word reasonable.

    Now, we all know (at least I think we do) what reasonable means. But we have a different threshold for accepting what is reasonable. So we need experts in law (judges) to make the decision for us! Just great. Imagine a supreme court judge with no education or training in science being put into a position of having to judge which of the two opposing expert scientific opinions is more reasonable! 

  12. Dr Peter Lozo

    March 13, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    #8

    “And circumstantial evidence cannot be used to convict on murder unless there is no other possible scenario.

    I do not posses any education or training in law but even I know that the above statement isn’t quite correct.

    It would be more correct to say the following:

    “And circumstantial evidence cannot be used to convict on murder unless there is no other reasonable possible alternative.

    From what has been presented at the trial (and as is also shown now), in my opinion, there is no other reasonable alternative possibility. I offered a bet of $10K last year that MV (the homeless lady) was never on the yacht.

    It just isn’t sufficient to provide another possibility. That possibility has to be a reasonable possibility.

  13. John Biggs

    March 13, 2018 at 11:35 am

    #5 “Claims of innocence or guilt, have to be backed up with supportable evidence, even circumstantial.”

    Claims of innocence … have to be backed up …? Where did innocent until proved guilty get to? This is not Egypt.

    And circumstantial evidence cannot be used to convict on murder unless there is no other possible scenario. In Neill-Fraser’s case there are plenty of scenarios, an especially likely one being the group of youths who raid yachts and who DNA was found on the boat. The police simply dismissed this and other possibilities.

    And this “those that have nothing to hide, don’t lie.” How naive! Haven’t you ever been rattled? Being heavily questioned by police when your partner has gone missing would unnerve anyone, to the point where one is likely to mix up events, like the Bunnings incident. You can’t hang a murder on that!

  14. abs

    March 13, 2018 at 11:02 am

    ah….couldn’t resist the percieved spotlight I see. I guess “A Victorian’ will show up soon, along with other “anonymous contributors” praising the wisdom of he-who-knows-all.

  15. Dr Peter Lozo

    March 12, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Once upon a time on a choppy holiday afternoon on the Derwent River in Hobart 

    It was a very choppy Australia Day afternoon on the Derwent River in 2009. There were hardly any dinghies buzzing around on what was described by one eyewitness to be 3 foot waves. There were only three reported sightings of a travelling dinghy between midday and midnight of the day on which Bob Chappell was last seen.  Each time, there was only one person on the dinghy and the dinghy was motorised (note that the sightings at 3:55 pm and 5 pm were of a ‘grey’ dinghy tethered to the portside of Four Winds but not a single person was spotted on the dinghy or the Four Winds yacht).

    The sighting at around 2 pm was of Sue motoring towards Four Winds.

    The sighting at around 7:45 pm – 8:30 pm was of one person in a light coloured dinghy (very similar to the Four Winds dinghy) motoring away from the location of Four Winds in the general direction of the sailing club (where Sue, according to her statement, left her dinghy after returning from the yacht sometime that afternoon). Given the media frenzy immediately after it was discovered that Bob was missing and that the yacht was sabotaged, one would have normally expected (I certainly would have) for the person on that dinghy to have contacted the police even if the person did not see anything unusual about the yacht (for it would have greatly assisted  the police in establishing the timeline of events if nothing else). The fact that the person has not yet come forward is very odd given the extensive media coverage of the case ever since that day and up to the present time.

    The third sighting was between 11:30 pm and midnight of one person on a motorised inflatable dinghy travelling past the Sandy Bay Rowing Shed in the general direction of where Four Winds for moored (the defence witness during the current appeal had had a wooden dinghy and did not have a motor on it).

    Sue has not yet provided an explanation of her whereabouts for a 5 hour time block (4 pm – 9 pm). She tried by stating that she spent the whole afternoon and early evening in Bunnings and returned home about the time it was starting to get dark (between 8:30 pm and 9pm). But her alibi fell apart when the police discovered that on that day Bunnings had closed at 6pm and that she did not appear on any security videos for that day!! 

    Where was Sue between 4pm and 9pm?

    Was Sue actually on Four Winds from about 2 pm to about 8 pm but did not want the police to know that she spent 6 hours or so on the yacht that afternoon.

    Sue also gave varying accounts of her whereabouts for the rest of that evening, i e. after her last phone conversation (there are 4 different versions).

    I would have expected that those who are attacking the Tasmanian justice system would also want an answer from Sue Neill-Fraser: where was she between 4pm and 9pm? Was it her who was on a light coloured dinghy motoring away from the location of Four Winds sometime between 7:45 pm and 8:30 pm? 

  16. Tony Stone

    March 11, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Have tried to make sense of this case for years and no matter the claims of the defence, it always comes back to Sue Neill-Fraser. Mystery unfindable witnesses, the derwent river around there, is a very busy place, especially on weekends.

    Many dinghies could have passed close to the yacht that day and evening, if so, no one would have taken notice unless, she was well down in the water. But she wasn’t until the next day, so everything would have looked fine.

    Can understand why a lot of people who have little or no experience with moored boats or yachts, can’t see the probable reality. There are a number of questions which need to be answered and can be, which the jury and subsequent appeals would have taking into account when deliberating.

    An important one is, why did she leave him on board with no means of returning to shore overnight. That is a strict no no for boaties, you never leave someone on a moored boat overnight, with no means of safely getting off. Mariner law makes it mandatory to have a dinghy for every manned vessel, moored or otherwise.

    Didn’t she lie to police, those that have nothing to hide, don’t lie. Why would the police, jury and judiciary have a vendetta against her. How can you corrupt so many different people, who probably have had no association with each other, before the trials.

    If they were not convinced of her guilt, even though it is mostly circumstantial evidence. Why convict her, so convincingly over and over.

    Not every woman is a victim, many many are perpetrators and so far, the defence has not been able to provide any supportable evidence to reverse the conviction.

    Haven’t some of the defence witnesses and a solicitor been charged with perverting justice, or something like that.

    It’s those things and others, which would have led them to a guilty verdict. As there is probably no one here that was on the jury, it’s all conjecture. Claims of innocence or guilt, have to be backed up with supportable evidence, even circumstantial.

  17. Dr Peter Lozo

    March 11, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    …….. The “Weatherbeaten Man” ….

    Find the “Weatherbeaten Man” and you will find Bob’s killer!

    The “Weatherbeaten Man” has not yet come forward ever since that person was sighted on a dinghy in the vicinity of Four Winds at around 7:45 pm – 8:30 pm on Australia Day 2009.

    Why did not the “Weatherbeaten Man” contact the media and/or Neill-Fraser (or her family/friends) and/or the police and/or Neill-Fraser’s defence team?

    Why didn’t Colin McLaren, Robert Richter and Eve Ash pursue the lead about the “Weatherbeaten Man”?

    Why does the public not know about the “Weatherbeaten Man”?

    What information is available about the “Weatherbeaten Man”?

    Who is the “Weatherbeaten Man” most likely to be?

    See:

    http://www.betterconsult.com.au/blog/the-weatherbeaten-man-in-the-sue-neill-fraser-case/

    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/snf-top-barrister-handed-over-explosive-file-on-murder-he-didnt-foresee-rea/

  18. Chris Harries

    March 11, 2018 at 11:55 am

    It’s not hard to see how police can contrive a conviction, it’s happened before. But what is it that convinced the jury in this case? Juries are advised in court that a decision to convict should be beyond reasonable doubt. We never know what happens in jury rooms, but maybe one strongly opinionated person can sway the rest to a wrongful verdict? (That’s if they did make a wrong decision, of course.)

  19. Mike Bolan

    March 10, 2018 at 12:29 am

    What baffles me is how SNF can be guilty of murder when there’s no body and no physical evidence connecting the accused to such an act eg security video. Couldn’t the victim have fallen into the water, drowned, and been washed away – in a deep current for example?

  20. Isla MacGregor

    March 9, 2018 at 9:31 am

    I look forward to justice for Sue one day and her freedom from wrongful imprisonment.

    It is the Tasmanian injustice system that has blood on it’s hands.

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