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Sue Neill-Fraser on hunger strike amid claims of bullying within Risdon prison

ABC News logo ABC News 20/11/2017 Peta Carlyon

Susan Neill-Fraser began the hunger strike after her cell was searched when she was not present. © ABC News Susan Neill-Fraser began the hunger strike after her cell was searched when she was not present. Convicted killer Sue Neill-Fraser is staging a hunger strike at Risdon Prison over the way she has been treated by authorities.

Neill-Fraser's daughter wrote to supporters of the 62-year-old yesterday morning, telling them she had been on a hunger strike since Friday after guards searched her cell and increased her security.

It is understood Neill-Fraser was moved to a cell in the prison's medium security unit, next door to Karen Patricia Nancy Keefe, who is herself accused of perverting the course of justice in relation to Neill-Fraser's appeal to overturn her conviction.

Neill-Fraser has said she had legal advice not to speak to or come into contact with Ms Keefe.

The hunger strike was believed to be in relation to the cell search on Friday, in which Neill-Fraser was not present, and was accused of having contraband in the form of craft scissors and make-up.

The letter to supporters suggested Neill-Fraser had previously been told she could have the items.

Her supporters fear she is being bullied in prison.

Susan Neill-Fraser pictured on the Four Winds during a visit to Sydney. © Facebook Susan Neill-Fraser pictured on the Four Winds during a visit to Sydney. It is believed Neill-Fraser is continuing her hunger strike, but the ABC understands she may have been returned to her original cell, away from Ms Keefe.

As of yesterday morning, her daughter Sarah Bowles said she had not heard from her mother since Friday and was concerned she may have had privileges taken away.

The prison and State Government have been contacted for comment.

Neill-Fraser has spent eight years in prison after receiving a 23-year sentence for the 2009 murder of her partner Bob Chappell on the couple's yacht Four Winds.

His body was never found.

A last-ditch legal appeal to overturn her conviction is currently underway.

The development comes as a Hobart lawyer connected to the case appeared in the Supreme Court for a directions hearing.

Police allege Jeffrey Ian Thompson attempted to pervert the course of justice by deliberately influencing a witness to manufacture evidence in the Neill-Fraser appeal.

Mr Thompson has denied the charge.

His bail was continued today to his next court appearance in February.

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