William Tyrrell’s foster parents will proceed to trial on charges of assaulting and stalking a child after it was revealed that police have a ‘large amount of surveillance device material’ and up to ten prosecution witnesses.
Sydney’s Hornsby Local Court heard on Friday that the little boy lost’s foster mother will apply to have her charges heard under the Mental Health Act, while the foster father will not.
The charges include stalking and intimidation offences against the foster parents which date from earlier this year. They relate to another child who is not William.
Police prosecutors today were criticised for not having a brief ready yet on a ‘serious’ charge of child assault which detectives laid against both the foster mother and father last November.
The foster mother’s lawyer Sharon Ramsden told the court she had not yet been able to get a mental health assessment appointment for the 57-year-old, which will determine if she qualifies to be judged as mentally impaired.
The foster father’s lawyer Lauren MacDougall told the court she would not be pursuing a mental health application on his behalf.
Both foster parents will present just one witness each to defend the charges.
The foster couple were facing court for the first time on charges of stalking the same child who police allege they assaulted last year, along with Apprehended Violence Orders taken out by police for the child against the parents.
The foster father is accused of one count of stalking and intimidation intending fear of physical harm against a child, while the foster mother faces two charges.
Police allege the assault against the child, whose identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons, occurred last year.
The identities of the foster parents – well-educated professionals in their 50s who live in a comfortable suburb on Sydney’s north shore – can also not be publicly revealed.
William Tyrrell’s foster mother, 57, and her husband did not appear in person in Hornsby Local Court on Friday where they were listed for charges of stalking and assaulting a child
Three-year-old William Tyrrell (pictured) disappeared from the NSW Mid North Coast town of Kendall, in September 2014. No one has been charged over his apparent abduction
The new charges came as the NSW Police Force continues to focus on what happened to William, who vanished from his grandparent’s home in Kendall, NSW, on 12 September 2014.
Since November, William’s foster parents have been charged with assault and intimidation of a child and with lying to the NSW Crime Commission.
The stalking charges followed former NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller naming the foster mother as a ‘person of interest’ in the toddler’s disappearance.
Tyrrell’s foster mother (above) and her husband have now been charged with stalking or intimidating a child they were accused of assaulting last year
The shift in the focus in trying to solve Australia’s biggest unsolved murder mystery occurred after Strike Force Rosann head Gary Jubelin was replaced by Detective Chief Inspector David Laidlaw.
Although police did not formally interview the foster father until six days after William disappeared, Mr Jubelin conducted separate, three-hour gruelling interviews of them in 2017, three years after the toddler vanished.
Mr Jubelin later said he had ‘confidence’ they were not involved.
in 2019, two years after those interviews, the foster parents testified before the NSW Coroner’s inquest into the missing boy.
The focus of the inquiry was on a Kendall neighbour who has since been discounted as a person of interest and on convicted paedophiles of the NSW mid-north coast.
The foster mother gave evidence over two days, while the foster father gave shorter testimony of about an hour.
The foster mother’s lawyer, high-profile Sydney solicitor Sharon Ramsden, told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday her client would likely plead not guilty to the stalking charge.
Ms Ramsden said the woman would also plead not guilty to another charge of falsifying information to the NSW Crime Commission, just weeks after her husband was laid with the same charge.
The 57-year-old was issued with a court attendance notice by NSW Homicide detectives, and has been ordered to appear at the Downing Centre on May 24.
The charges of stalking and intimidation intending fear of physical or mental harm are domestic related, according to court documents.
William Tyrrell’s foster father (above) has been hit with a single charge of stalk and intimidate and will face Hornsby Local Court later this month
The foster parents did not appear in person on Friday at Hornsby Local Court (above) where for the first time the charges of stalking and assault against the same child were listed together
While the investigation into the toddler’s 2014 disappearance continues, the couple have held a fire sale of children’s bikes, car seats, prams, furniture and industrial equipment with items ranging between $5 and several thousand.
William’s foster father, 55, and foster mother were charged in November 2021 in relation to the alleged assault of the child.
Both foster parents have pleaded not guilty, and have indicated they may apply to have the matter heard under the Mental Health Act.
The Sydney couple were foster parents to the three-year-old when he disappeared from the NSW Mid North Coast town of Kendall in September 2014.
It was only revealed last month that William’s foster father had been charged in January with two counts of ‘knowingly providing false and misleading evidence’.
The charges only came to light because of a revision of non-publication orders surrounding the case.
The foster father, who police claim ‘lied about something we can prove’, gave the allegedly false evidence to the NSW Crime Commission late last year, and it is understood the foster mother also testified around the same time.
William’s foster father (pictured in December 2021) was charged in January this year with two counts of ‘knowingly provide false and misleading evidence’
On the second day of the search for William’s remains at a dig site in the NSW Mid North Coast town of Kendall, the boy’s foster mother was declared a person of interest in his disappearance
Details of the evidence provided to the NSW Crime Commission by the foster father which police claim is false and misleading are unavailable.
The foster father has entered pleas of not guilty to both charges.
He testified for up to two hours after being secretly summonsed to appear at the Crime Commission’s Surry Hills headquarters on November 11.
This was four days before NSW Police launched a surprise ‘high intensity’ search of bushland around 800m from the house where William had been staying with his foster parents when he vanished seven years ago.
On the second day of the search for William’s remains at a dig site in Kendall, the boy’s foster mother was declared a person of interest in his disappearance.
NSW Police launched a surprise ‘high intensity’ search of bushland around 800m from the house where William had been staying when he vanished seven years ago
Last month, William’s foster mother was charged with another count of common assault of a child, which also does not relate to William, and her lawyer has indicated she will plead not guilty.
William had been placed with the couple in March 2012 as a foster child in the care of the then state minister for family and community services until he was 18 years old.
William was driven to the Kendall home of his foster grandmother on Friday, September 11, 2014 and was last seen playing on the verandah of the house on the Saturday morning.
A widespread search in the surrounding area failed to find any trace of him.
William was driven to the Kendall home of his foster grandmother on Friday, September 11, 2014 and was last seen playing on the verandah (pictured) on the Saturday morning
Last November, a new and extensive search for William’s remains at Kendall began and continued for four weeks.
Police, SES and rural fire workers along with detectives from Strike Force Rosann spent four weeks late last year digging up a section of forest less than a kilometre from the house where William vanished.
Combing bushland and digging with excavators, police searched along Batar Creek Road, Kendall for William’s remains and scraps from the SpiderMan suit he was last seen wearing.
The foster mother denied any involvement in William’s disappearance and no charges have ever been laid against any person.