Supporters hold vigil for convicted domestic violence killer
ELEVEN years have now officially lapsed since Sue Neill-Fraser was incarcerated for murder, with supporters decrying her case as the worst miscarriage of justice in Australia since the Lindy Chamberlain saga.
A group of steadfast proponents for the grandmother's release held a vigil in Murray Street on Thursday to commemorate the date she was first taken into custody back on August 20, 2009.
But the group said they also hoped to inform passers-by about what they say is one of Australia's worst-ever cases of wrongful conviction.
Lynn Giddings, who was friends with Neill-Fraser's mother, said she'd visited the convicted killer at the Mary Hutchinson Women's Prison a few weeks ago.
"She's stoic, and that might have been her problem through the court case," she said.
"I think all women are supposed to cry. Lindy Chamberlain didn't cry either."
Ms Giddings - who said she was a former prison welfare officer and the first woman ever employed at Risdon Prison - said she'd been visiting and writing letters to Neill-Fraser since she was first taken into custody.
"I visited her as soon as they arrested her, which was 11 years today," she said on Thursday.
"I knew she'd be shattered."
Neill-Fraser is serving a maximum 23-year jail sentence for murdering her partner Bob Chappell on their yacht during Australia Day 2006.
With a 13-year non-parole period, she is currently eligible to apply for release in exactly two years' time.
However the 66-year-old still wants to prove her innocence in her second appeal bid, which is currently scheduled for November 2 this year after a series of delays.
Fellow supporter Rosie Crumpton-Crook said she believed there were "many similarities between the conviction of Lindy Chamberlain and Sue Neill-Fraser", including no body and no murder weapon.
"The wrongful conviction of Sue Neill-Fraser is also attracting worldwide attention and will forever be a blight on Tasmania," she said.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Sue Neill-Fraser's supporters hold vigil for 11 years behind bars