Powerful Comments by Stuart Tipple on the Sue Neill-Fraser Case - Many Parallels with Chamberlain
Mr Stuart Tipple, the highly respected lawyer who stood by Lindy Chamberlain for over 30 years, said this from the stage after the VIP screening of Shadow of Doubt in Sydney on 5 November 2013:
I don't think any right thinking person can view what we've seen today and not have concerns.
I see many parallels with this case to the Chamberlain case.
It does concern me that that there isn't a Criminal Case Review Commission or anywhere else that you can go and the Appellate process that Tasmania is left with is totally unsatisfactory.
I faced very much the same when we were having the Chamberlain case reviewed.
By the time we got to the High Court I was able to demonstrate conclusively that what had been identified as foetal blood was actually sound deadener. But we couldn't use any of that material when we got to the High Court, because the High Court does not look at fresh evidence, all they were looking at was legal argument.
I also had the problem of asking the Attorney General in the NT to review the case. I was able to show him that the foetal blood spray was sound deadener, amongst a number of other things, and all I got was a letter saying that he had reviewed it after nearly 6 months of sitting on it and there was nothing cogent that required any review.
So I see many parallels.
And I see many situations and one of them, as Chester pointed out, and that is that the luminol test is a presumptive test. And that is very much a parallel in the Chamberlain case. In that case there was a lot of evidence about presumptive testing which was very prejudicial and was indicative that the car was swimming in blood, that there were other items like camera bags "floating" in blood, because there was a positive presumptive test. Later on and not before we got to the Royal Commission, we were able to show that those presumptive tests were just that. They may have indicated blood, but probably what they were showing in the Chamberlain case was not blood, it was actually copper oxide from where the Chamberlains were living in Mt Isa.
So I see many parallels.
It deeply disturbs me and I know Barbara you've got a long road ahead of you.
It took us over 30 years to get justice.
But I commend you for doing it, I commend Chester for his passion for justice, and that's certainly something that I share. I wish you all the best, and I will help you in any way I can.
We now have both Chester Porter QC, Counsel Assisting the Morling Inquiry into the Chamberlain convictions, and Mr Stuart Tipple, Lindy Chamberlain's lawyer, both expressing strong concerns about the safety of the Sue Neill-Fraser conviction in Tasmania. What lessons have been truly learned from Chamberlain 30 years ago? Why is the legal system so reluctant to admit that it may have got it wrong when history has shown over and over again that the appeal system can fail in correcting a grave miscarriage of justice?