The future was before them – they had everything to look forward to in comfortable retirement but on the 27th of January 2009 Bob went missing, their newly purchased yacht was sinking on its mooring and Sue’s life was turned upside down.
Sue was born in Scotland in 1954, and spent the first few years of her life in Edinburgh. She always had a deep passion for animals and spent her early years playing and exploring in the countryside with her brother. After her parents divorced, her Mother moved with Sue and her brother to Tasmania. The lifestyle suited Sue who turned to building tree-houses and rescuing ‘homeless’ animals. Her mother recalls with exasperation ‘it was like living in a menagerie – Sue would bring home animals she found in need and I obliged’. Sue was a diligent and conscientious student, attending The Friends’ School and also Fahan. Once matriculated it was decided that the family would return to the United Kingdom (UK).This move enabled Sue to pursue an ever expanding passion for animals by taking a course with the British Horse Society. She became an exceptionally talent horsewoman and won many titles competing.
Sue and her mother returned to Tasmania and purchased a farm in Bagdad to establish a horse riding school. In 1981Sue married Brett Meeker and although the marriage wasn’t to last, Sue gave birth to two daughters and her life as a mother began. ‘Sue was an extremely loving Mother who worked hard in order to give our daughters the best opportunity in life – the kids are a credit to her, she is an exceptional mother’ comments Sue’s ex-husband. Her eldest daughter Emma comments ‘Mum was a devoted mother and Sarah and I are equally devoted to her. We seek justice for both mum and Bob’.
In 1989, Sue and Robert Chappell (Bob) were first introduced through a mutual acquaintance, and the final piece to her life was complete. Their relationship during the next 20 years was based on a profound understanding of each other’s unique personalities, intellectual respect, companionship, and a deep love.
Sue has been in Prison since her arrest on August 20 2009 and although Bob’s body has never been found, no weapon determined, Sue now faces a sentence of 23 years in Jail for murder. Said Sue of her conviction “Although I understand that I must physically accept the court’s judgment, I shall continue to protest my innocence most vehemently. I loved Bob deeply and would never have harmed him. I must now place my fate in the appeal process and I can only pray that in the fullness of time I will be vindicated”.
When not busy helping the other girls in prison to read and write and respond to their lawyers, Sue occupies herself with creative work. The above picture is an example of the cards she makes to send to her supporters.