William Tyrrell’s adoptive mother has failed to have her trial heard in secret for allegedly stalking or bullying an 11-year-old girl.
It comes as a judge said the child’s fears of “physical abuse, humiliation and punishment” may be well founded.
The 58-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of assaulting the girl.
The adoptive mother’s attorney, John Stratton SC, later requested that her trial on the other charges be held entirely behind closed doors.
But magistrate Susan McIntyre rejected the request on Monday afternoon, saying “it goes beyond the principles of open justice”.
His Honor also denied a motion to dismiss the prosecution’s pattern evidence.
The magistrate considered that it had “probative value” by pointing to the guilt of the adoptive mother.
The adoptive parents of William Tyrrell arrive in court on Monday for a five-day trial over allegations they assaulted, stalked and bullied an 11-year-old girl over an eight-month period in 2021.
“I would characterize the relied upon documents regarding the conduct of (the adoptive mother) SD as a threat and a warning as to what will happen with respect to continued behaviors,” she said.
Both foster parents are charged with harassment or intimidation and causing fear of physical or mental harm to a child between January 26, 2021 and August 30, 2021. They have pleaded not guilty to these offences.
The adoptive father is also charged with common assault on a child, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
The offenses allegedly took place at two different residences on Sydney’s north shore.
The girl is due to give evidence via pre-recorded evidence during a week-long trial at Parramatta Local Court in Sydney’s west.
The court heard of heated verbal exchanges between the child and an alleged recording of the slapping of a primary school girl.
The adoptive mother of missing baby William Tyrrell (above) has failed to get a trial on charges relating to a young girl heard in secret
Defense lawyer John Stratton SC argued that the repeated incidents, including a warning threat from the adoptive mother that if the child continued to misbehave, “she would slap her”, did not were that “legal punishment, it is not a criminal activity”.
He said if a parent threatened to discipline a child as being considered a criminal, “it would criminalize every home in Australia”.
He said a reference to an alleged recording of the sound of three slaps being issued could have been “a family member hitting a desk”.
But Chief Inspector John Marsh, the police prosecutor, said the sounds of “smack, smack, smack” had been indicated in a recording and that multiple alleged incidents or threats against the girl were “certainly not which has happened in every home in Australia”.
He said there was an incident in which the child used a phone without permission and then called the adoptive mother a “fucking bitch”.
“It’s the cumulative effect of all these incidents that shows that (the adoptive mother) knew her conduct was likely to instill fear, but continued nonetheless.”
The adoptive mother of William Tyrrell (pictured) pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault in Parramatta Local Court on Monday. The charges related to a young child, who is not William
Police say the foster mother threatened the girl while her foster father allegedly grabbed her by the neck after the girl said she ‘hated’ them.
William’s adoptive father is said to have “grabbed” the girl by the neck and “physically restrained her to sit down” in the kitchen of a suburban home.
She then told a teacher she was afraid to return home, police will say.
One day in November 2021, the child was taken into custody for 44 minutes and then told the couple, named in court by SD and JS, that she “hated them”.
A large group of detectives from Strike Force Rosann, who are investigating the disappearance of William Tyrrell, were present at the hearing, including the task force’s commander, Chief Inspector David Laidlaw.
The court was told that the adoptive mother had “attempted to intervene in the problematic behavior of the (alleged) victim”.
She warned the young girl that if she defecated on the floor she would rub her face in it, it seems.
Police will claim that when the child cried out in pain, the foster carer then forced the child to sit on the floor for an extended period of time before kicking the (alleged) victim causing him so pain and bruising.
“The (alleged) victim allegedly tried to get up several times, but (SD) forced her to sit down.”
A psychological report drawn up after the event claims that the child “begged” SD to stop while the two defendants allegedly subjected her to a 15-minute “tirade of verbal abuse”.
William Tyrrell (above) disappeared aged three in September 2014 in the town of Kendall, on the NSW north coast, and no trace of the small child has ever been found
However, lawyers for the defendants filed an objection early in the five-day hearing to at least one psychological expert, Dr Banks.
The alleged victim spoke to her teacher and “expressed her fear of going home”.
SD and her husband JS were charged with common assault on the girl in late 2021 as police embarked on a fresh search of bushland near the town of Kendall on the New Wales north coast of South, in search of the remains of William Tyrrell.
They also pleaded guilty to charges of using a fictitious bidder to raise the selling price of their former ‘forever home’ for William’s disappearance on Sydney’s North Shore at an auction in 2020.
The adoptive father appeared in court alongside his wife, charged with alleged assault, harassment or intimidation of a child.
The adoptive mother (above in Kendall after William disappeared) appears in Parramatta Local Court for allegedly molesting and stalking a child.
The charges were downgraded to regulatory offenses under the Estate Agents and Brokers Act and the two men will be convicted and fined this week.
William disappeared aged three in September 2014 in the town of Kendall on the NSW north coast, and no trace of the toddler has ever been found.
No one has ever been charged for her disappearance.
A further search of bushland within 700m of the Kendall house where William was last seen was conducted in late 2021, but no significant items were identified.