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


Neill-Fraser appeal: Police detail secret prison recordings

Video footage has been played in court of an ex-cop and a documentary filmmaker appearing to manufacture a statement for a witness in convicted killer Sue Neill-Fraser’s appeal against her murder conviction.

On Wednesday, Neill-Fraser’s last-ditch appeal, made possible under a 2015 piece of legislation, continued in the Court of Criminal Appeal after a 10-month adjournment.

The legislation provides for a person to lodge another appeal after they have exhausted all other avenues of appeal, on the ground that “fresh and compelling” evidence has come to light.

Neill-Fraser was sentenced to 26 years’ jail in 2010, after a jury found her guilty of murdering her partner Bob Chappell on the pair’s yacht Four Winds at Sandy Bay in 2009.

A key figure in the Neill-Fraser legal team’s case for quashing her sentence is Meaghan Vass, whose DNA was discovered on the Four Winds following Mr Chappell’s disappearance.

Ms Vass was 15 years old at the time and was homeless.

She has denied ever being on the Four Winds and it has been suggested that her DNA may have found its way onto the yacht through secondary transfer.

Detective Senior Constable Shane Sinnitt told the court on Wednesday that a Tasmania Police taskforce had seized 500 hours’ worth of video footage from the offices of CJZ Productions in NSW in October 2017 …

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  1. Michael W Tegg

    August 26, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    To me, Mr Lindridge seems to be the only one to investigate the selling of her boat which indicates Mr Triffett may have lied.

  2. Graeme Lindridge

    August 24, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Mr Triffett said that a few weeks before Xmas 1997, he was working on the engine of Sue Neill-Fraser’s Roberts 28 yacht when she asked him to murder her brother and sink her yacht. Around Xmas 1997, while going to Murdunna, she asked him to murder Mr Chappell and sink her yacht. Their friendship ended in early 1998. She then sold her yacht. What date was it sold?

    Yacht sales were registered with the Marine Board until the 29th July 1997, when it closed and its files archived. Since then, yacht sales have been registered with MAST – Marine And Safety Tasmania. Sue Neill-Fraser’s yacht was sold through a broker and the sale would be registered with MAST … but MAST have no record of it.

    In her evidence, she said she moved in with Mr Chappell in 1991 and thought she sold her yacht 4 or 5 years later. This implies it was sold in 1995 or 1996. Did she still own the yacht in 1997/8 or was it sold in 1995/6?

    At the time of her trial the prosecution could have checked when it was sold, but didn’t, and it seems nobody has ever thought to do so.

  3. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 22, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    I previously stated on TT that I considered the VPDSD forensic report as being fresh evidence but I did not consider it to be compelling evidence.

    It now appears that Justice Brett thinks that his decision might rest on deciding whether the fact that Neill-Fraser’s defence at the trial did not seek an independent forensic opinion on the DNA constitutes a fresh evidence at this right-to-appeal application:

    “Sue Neill-Fraser appeal: Fresh evidence hinges on interpretation of DNA evidence, lawyers say”

    “Justice Michael Brett said the submissions may come down to an argument about whether a decision by Neill-Fraser’s original team not to get their own forensic opinion for the trial could then be used to argue a decision to get a second opinion now counted as “fresh” evidence.”


    It is possible that he might grant the appeal application and then leave it to the appeal court judges to decide whether the opinion of the VPFSD forensic scientist is compelling in light of the other evidence concerning false affidavits related to Vass.

  4. John Wiseman

    August 22, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks Tasmania Police. It must be difficult when you get a conviction and then a group of supporters is tricked by the culprit into believing she is innocent and who then accuse your organisation of trickery. Well done in ensuring some justice prevails in my little corner of the Earth.

  5. Richard Kopf

    August 22, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Oh dear, this revelation will lead to pages of denials and pathetic outpourings from the murderer’s friends and relatives claiming Sue’s being victimised. Time to close up on this saga.

  6. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 22, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    In his March 2018 Sydney Herald Sun article titled ‘Twists in the tale of Bob Chappell murder mystery’ Andrew Rule wrote, amongst other things, the following about Mr Colin McLaren’s investigation in the Susan Neill-Fraser case:

    “Colin McLaren is a former undercover agent and veteran task force investigator. His investigation strengthens Neill-Fraser supporters’ belief that she has suffered an unsafe conviction — not just because the case against her is purely circumstantial but, more importantly, because McLaren now clearly earmarks alternative suspects.

    The onus is always on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In this case, the doubters have new evidence, which casts a shadow over the prosecution that created a first in Tasmania — a murder conviction with no body or “smoking gun” evidence.

    In another twist, McLaren is now effectively a fugitive because he has been warned of a Tasmanian police plan to charge him with perverting the course of justice. Not because he has committed any offence, he says, but because even trumped-up charges would block publication of his book under the sub judice rule. Why would they do that? “It’s all about protecting reputations,” he says.”

    (Those who don’t have an account with the relevant media can download an edited copy of the article from Dr Bob Moles’ website. The direct download link is http://netk.net.au/Tasmania/Neill-Fraser67.pdf)

    Well, now we know what Mr McLaren was doing when he was recorded saying it was “the statement you do when you don’t have a statement”.

    Mr Rule also wrote:

    “The 60-something grandfather left Australia six months ago when a barrister suggested he take a long holiday following the arrest of two other people — one a Tasmanian lawyer — on charges of perverting the course of justice.

    After confirming suspicions his telephone and emails had been tapped by Victoria Police for their Tasmanian counterparts, he flew to Sri Lanka last October and reached Europe on a series of short flights. He wants to come home to see his daughter and grandson but doesn’t dare risk arrest. Besides that, a recent history of heart attacks makes stress and long-haul flights a health risk.”

  7. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 22, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    It is even worse for Sue than what is reported in the above article.

    See here about Sue’s involvement:

    “Sue Neill-Fraser appeal: Letter smuggled out of prison to witness, court hears”


    “A Hobart court has heard for the first time that convicted killer Sue Neill-Fraser played a role in arranging for a witness to give evidence in her last-chance appeal, including what she would say”

    Sue can surely now kiss goodbye to any chances of getting her right-to-appeal approved. She obviously did not think she had a chance of presenting fresh and compelling evidence, so she decided to cheat her way out of the prison. Who will trust anything she said previously before her trial, and ever since? It ought to be obvious now to her supporters that she would have intentionally lied to cops about her whereabouts in the afternoon and the evening of Australia Day 2009 and just about most of her statements cannot be trusted. Too bad that some really nice people got sucked in by her lies and believed in her innocence.

    How about this recording of what Mr McLaren was recorded saying to Eve Ash:

    “In the video he tells Ms Ash to leave a space for her to sign it and another line at the bottom and he would then “turn it into a witness”.

    The video, played in court, also recorded Mr McLaren saying that it was “the statement you do when you don’t have a statement” and commenting that Ms Ash’s “lawyer friends will all go up in arms”.

    “But it’s a … statement by someone we know to be a killer … that’s the only way we’re going to get her,” Mr McLaren said in the video played to court.”

    I think that all Tasmanian’s (indeed all Australians), regardless of whether or not they supported Sue, should …

  8. Dr Peter Lozo

    August 22, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    I think that all Tasmanians (indeed all Australians) regardless of whether or not they supported Sue, should congratulate TasPol in ensuring …

    Based on the recordings, it appears that …

    Sue obviously tried to cheat her way out of the prison. Her supporters ought to be in shock after learning what she was up to. Will they still stick with her, or will they finally recognise that Sue lied to them too, and is the killer of Bob Chappell?

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