William Tyrrell’s loved ones travelled to Taree this week hoping a special sitting of the Coronial inquest into his disappearance may provide a long-awaited lead.
They left disappointed.
- William went missing while playing in the front yard of his foster grandmother’s home in Kendall
- An inquest into his disappearance has heard evidence from less than half of the 50 witnesses
- Three weeks of evidence has failed to reveal any substantial developments in the case
As the inquest dragged into its third week, it moved from Sydney to the NSW mid-north coast — only 40 kilometres from where William was last seen playing in a Spiderman suit in September 2014.
Hearings were dogged by delays, technical glitches, lawyers being unavailable and several media applications to fight orders to close the court in a case where the public interest is huge.
The inquest was cut short on Wednesday because Chris McGorey, the lawyer for key witness Paul Savage, had to travel back to Sydney for the day.
The inquest sat for only 20 minutes and ended with Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame acknowledging the immense “frustration” felt inside the public gallery of the Taree Courthouse.
“I realise there is still a lot to do,” she said at the end of four days of evidence.
“In some sense, I feel we are only scratching the surface.”
That feeling has been echoed by William’s biological grandmother — who cannot be identified for legal reasons — who said delays in proceedings had been frustrating for her son, the biological father.
“It’s been frustrating, one minute we are hearing evidence and then the next minute is a closed court and we are told we have to leave the room,” she said.
“We didn’t have court on Wednesday, which was a waste of time — we’re not really knowing what’s happening.”
William’s biological grandmother said she was “not sure” if the inquest had shed any light on his disappearance.
“It’s been slow, we took the time to come here, and it’s been closed court and then open — it’s been really frustrating for us,” he said.
Counsel Assisting Gerard Craddock is expected to question 50 witnesses, but so far, the coronial inquest is yet to hear from half of them.
That means another sitting is likely to take place in November.
Three days before William Tyrrell seemingly vanished into thin air, washing machine repairman William Spedding visited his foster grandmother at the Benaroon Drive property at Kendall.
He was due to give evidence at Taree Courthouse this week, but delays have meant he will now have to testify when proceedings resume at the Lidcombe Coroner’s Court in Sydney’s west on Monday.
His lawyer Peter O’Brien was disappointed but understanding about the delays when the inquest adjourned early on Wednesday.
“Look, I wish we could get on with it and do it, but they’re doing a good job, there are things that can’t be avoided,” he said
“We will just get through it and do the best we can to assist the family with finding William Tyrrell — it’s been frustrating for all witnesses.”
Two boys in Spiderman suits spotted
William was playing with his older sister out the front of the Kendall home, but disappeared while his foster mother — who had been supervising — went inside to make a cup of tea on morning of September 12, 2014.
While the inquest has so far failed to turn up any substantial developments, it has provided some new lines of inquiry.
One of those was that two boys in Spiderman suits had been sighted in Kendall on the same day William went missing.
The inquest heard Kendall resident Ronald Chapman saw a boy in a Spiderman suit being driven away in a car.
The car was being driven by a woman and was being followed in tandem by another car driven by a male, the inquest was told.
But police have been unable to confirm the sighting, which could have been the last time anyone saw William.
Fading memories of witnesses became a key theme of evidence being heard in Taree this week with Mr Savage, 75, admitting his memory was cloudy.
The pensioner still lives across the road from where one of Australia’s most baffling missing person cases began, but this week, he struggled to recall parts of the morning William went missing.
Mr Savage told the court he returned home after searching for the boy in bushland at 11.45am before he received a surprise visit from relatives at around midday.
Those relatives have told police that they did not turn up until around 1.15pm — leaving a gap of roughly 90 minutes where Mr Savage was unable to explain exactly what he was doing.
Mr Savage also told the court he searched for 45 minutes once a neighbour came to his house to raise the alarm on the morning William went missing.
But so far, no other witnesses have been able to verify that.
When asked if he could recall events from five years ago, he said “my memory is not real good”.
After three gruelling days in the witness box, Mr Savage fielded questions from his lawyer Chris McGorey before the court closed for the remainder of his testimony.
“If you had have known you were going to be asked those questions five years on, you may have wanted to answer them back then [during the initial police investigation]?” he asked.
“Yes,” Mr Savage said.
The Kendall resident is not a suspect, but is among hundreds of “persons of interest” in a case where there is a low threshold to make that list.
No one has ever been arrested or charged over William’s suspected murder and the criminal investigation is ongoing, with a search continuing around a saw mill, north of Kendall, as the inquest took place.
A reward of $1 million remains on the table for anyone who can provide information that will solve the case, which has so far stumped even the state’s most experienced detectives.
- Staying at level 2 labelled 'frustrating' for South Island
- Ganesh Visarjan 2020: Farewell To Bappa! Know About Ananta Chaturdashi, Its Significance And Timings For Visarjan
- What Americans Really Think About Climate Change
- I want to love my Nintendo Switch again, but I’m struggling to rekindle the relationship
- Nigel Farage: Trump keeps beating everything the Democrats throw at him. Of course he'll win 2020 | Opinion
- Here are five things we shouldn’t do next time we have an election
- Here Are Some Of The Afghans Scrambling To Get Exit Visas After The US Withdrawal
- Lions at Packers picks: Point spread, total, player props, trends for 'Monday Night Football' in Week 2
- Comment: Here’s how Apple could resolve its CSAM no-win situation
- What's 'Healthy'? What's 'Natural'?
- Roku OS 10.5 announced alongside new Streaming Stick 4K
- The Best External Hard Drives of 2021: Think Outside the Box
- Emmy Awards 2021: The Complete List Of Winners
- A World Without Children
- Chris Christie, Tom Cotton, and Paul Ryan: The Hollow Men
- Why Apple Watch 7 didn't match the leaks: Prosser's conspiracy theory
- Why Georgia Governor Brian Kemp loves playing dumb | Opinion
- Why Millennials Should Love Hillary
- Saliva testing now available for Timaru border workers
- The Best Laptops of 2021 for Work, Play, and Everything In Between
William Tyrrell inquest frustrated by delays and no significant breakthrough in the case have 1363 words, post on www.abc.net.au at August 24, 2019. This is cached page on Health Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.