William Tyrrell’s adoptive father has been found not guilty of five charges of lying to the secretive NSW Crime Commission.
A magistrate on Tuesday afternoon dismissed all charges against the 56-year-old, saying he “cannot be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt” that the adoptive father knowingly lied during a hearing in November 2021 into William’s disappearance.
The adoptive father, who can only be identified as JS for legal reasons, had been accused of lying when questioned about his wife molesting an 11-year-old girl in their care.
Magistrate John Arms said the questions asked of JS during the assault hearing were not specific enough or were ambiguous, and he could not rule out that the adoptive father had inadvertently responded that he did not didn’t remember it.
Magistrate Arms said: “There is no evidence of what “recent times” are and no clarification of what “harm” meant in the questions put to JS.
William Tyrrell’s adoptive father (right) has been found not guilty of five charges of lying to the secretive NSW Crime Commission.
The adoptive father denied any knowledge that the adoptive mother had ever assaulted a child, an 11-year-old girl, in their home, seven years after the disappearance of William Tyrrell (photo).
During a two-day hearing into the charges, William Tyrrell’s adoptive father told the commission his wife never molested a girl just days after kicking her “hard” 11 year old child at home.
At the Sydney court hearing on Monday and Tuesday, police prosecutor Detective Sergeant John Marsh said JS lied “to cover up the fact that his wife had molested a child in their care” Just 22 days before the secret hearing.
Det Sgt. Marsh told the court that secret recordings made on devices placed in the adoptive parents’ house and cars captured JS asking his wife: “Did you kick her hard?”
He said the foster mother – who can only be identified as SD – responded: “I can’t believe I did that.”
He told the court that in another secret recording made 10 months earlier, SD had mentioned a “massive mark” left when she hit the girl with a wooden spoon.
The court heard the adoptive father responded: “We have a problem, we have a big problem. »
Detective Sergeant Marsh told the court the foster father was asked several questions during the 2021 hearing about whether his wife had ever hit the 11-year-old girl in their care.
The court heard JS was asked: “To your knowledge, has (SD) ever hit (the girl)?” », the adoptive father having replied: “Not to my knowledge, no”.
Det Sgt. Marsh also said JS answered no to the questions: “Based on your observation, had she ever hit or injured William?” », « (or the young girl)? ) ?’
The prosecutor told the court that the reason the adoptive father “lied… was to cover up the fact that his wife had molested a child in their care.”
The adoptive mother repeatedly denied having anything to do with William’s disappearance when asked questions such as “Did you find his body in the ferns and in the foliage under the porch” at his mother’s home in Kendall.
However, the adoptive father’s lawyer, Phillip English, told the court that the fact that the secret recordings were not played to the commission of the crime when JS was being questioned meant that the questioning was too vague and that, Therefore, JS had not lied in response.
He said it was “an honest mistake” that JS later told welfare authorities that he had not known his wife had kicked the girl before his appearance before the criminal commission.
“He was denied any opportunity to explain his state of mind on the subject,” Mr English said.
A total of 82 minutes of secret recordings of the conflict between the adoptive parents and the 11-year-old girl were played in court.
The girl could be heard sobbing and shouting: “No, mum no”, “please stop” and repeating “help” as she was hit with the wooden spoon.
She could also be heard crying after being kicked.
During police cross-examination by Mr English on Monday, details of the adoptive mother’s testimony at the criminal commission hearing were revealed.
Mr English read to the court a series of questions asked of William’s adoptive mother during the hearing, including: “Did you find his body in the ferns and foliage under the veranda that day?”
The adoptive mother was also asked: “Did you find his body and realize he was dead and there was no point in calling emergency services?”
Another question asked of SD was: “I want to suggest to you that what happened that day was that William walked on that verandah and fell over and that was not the no one’s fault.”
Each of the questions was accompanied by the adoptive mother’s categorical denials of having any knowledge of William Tyrrell’s disappearance, his injury, his disappearance and his death.
William Tyrrell went missing at the age of three and has not been seen since September 12, 2014, becoming Australia’s most notorious missing persons case.
No one has ever been charged for her disappearance.
Despite Monday’s hearing involving charges against the adoptive father, much of the testimony heard in court concerned William’s adoptive mother.
William Tyrrell’s adoptive parents both appeared at the Downing Center for his trial on five counts of lying to the NSW Crime Commission. He was found not guilty
Under cross-examination by a police officer on Monday, the adoptive father’s lawyer, Phillip English, told the court how it was suggested to the adoptive mother during a Criminal Commission hearing that she “could have thrown William’s body near an equestrian center.
Crime Commission solicitor Sophie Callan then asked the foster mother: “Did you take her body (to Kendall Equestrian Center on the NSW mid-north coast)?”
SD replied: “No”.
SD was then asked: “Have you decided to deal with the irremediable situation?” and “did you decide to take care of the situation and hide his body rather than let your (SD) mother take the responsibility.”
SD denied the two propositions made to him. They were related to William Tyrrell’s adoptive grandmother, who owned the house from which he disappeared and who has since died.
Ms. Callan then explained to the adoptive mother that SD had found William’s body “and you put his body in your mother’s car, and that’s why you drove (to D’s school). ‘Kendall’s riding nearby) that day?’
William’s adoptive mother was last year found not guilty of lying to the NSW Crime Commission following a hearing in which police alleged she falsely stated during her testimony that she hadn’t hit a child – not William – with a wooden spoon.