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Virus delays appeal of Hobart murderer

The murder appeal of Hobart grandmother Susan Neill-Fraser has been further delayed with her lawyers caught up in Victoria's "deteriorating" coronavirus situation.

Neill-Fraser, 66, is serving 23 years' jail for killing her partner Bob Chappell aboard their yacht on Australia Day 2009.

She won the right to appeal her conviction after convincing a judge there is fresh and compelling evidence not heard at the original trial.

The appeal, slated to be heard on August 17, has been pushed back to November 2, with members of Neill-Fraser's legal team unable to travel from Victoria.

"Unfortunately the situation in Victoria has deteriorated markedly," her lawyer Chris Carr told the Supreme Court in Hobart via video link on Friday.

Melbourne is in a six-week hard lockdown after a COVID-19 spike, while Tasmania has banned Victorians from entering and is forcing non-essential arrivals from other jurisdictions to quarantine for a fortnight.

Neill-Fraser's appeal was originally expected to be heard in late May but it was pushed back after the pandemic hit.

Neill-Fraser was in 2010 found guilty of murdering Mr Chappell by striking him with an object and dumping his body overboard.

Mr Chappell's body has never been found.

Neill-Fraser claims there is new evidence that then-homeless teenager Meaghan Vass was aboard the yacht and Mr Chappell was attacked while Ms Vass was there.

Ms Vass, whose DNA was found at the crime scene, will be required to give evidence in person at the hearing, which could go for up to two weeks.

Neill-Fraser's first appeal against her conviction was dismissed by the Court of Criminal Appeal in 2012.

She will return to court for a directions hearing on September 28.

© AAP 2020