Child's Screams Heard Minutes After William Tyrrell Disappeared

William’s foster mother revealed she heard what sounded like a child screaming in the minutes after William vanished.

She told the court she heard what sounded like a child who had been hurt, saying “it was quick, it was high pitched and it was sharp”.

She then went in the direction she heard it and searched the bush and thought “maybe I imagined it.. maybe it was a bird”.

Following her initial testimony, a lawyer representing Bill Spedding, a washing machine repairmen who has previously been identified as a person of interest in the case, questioned her about her statement.

No charges have ever been laid in relation to William’s disappearance and Spedding has always denied any involvement.

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He asked her about a voice message she left on Spedding’s phone the morning William went missing, asking when the part would be ready for her mother’s broken washing machine.

She told the court her mother told her she’d been waiting for the part for two weeks, which she thought was unreasonable.

William Tyrrell. Photo: NSW Police

Her message said “please call back and let me know if the washing machine part has arrived” the court heard.

The court was told Spedding called back and left a message for her mother later that day, hours after William went missing, saying he had the part and could attend later that day.

After Spedding’s lawyer had finished questioning her, she was excused from the witness box.

Two neighbours, Anne Maree Sharpley and Lydene Heslop, who were the first to begin searching for William, told the court what they recalled in the moments after he went missing.

Anne Maree Sharpley said William’s foster mother approached her house and asked if she’d seen a little boy, saying “his name is William, he’s wearing a Spiderman suit”.

Sharpley was then asked if she knew Paul Savage and his late wife Heather.

She responded that they would “say hello in passing” then told the court she knocked on his door during the search and spoke to him.

She said he answered the door and then helped in the search for William.

Savage is represented by a lawyer at the inquest and will also be called to testify. Savage has always denied any involvement.

Lydene Heslop then took the stand, telling the court locals conducted a line search behind the houses on the street shortly after he went missing, but didn’t find anything.

The court also heard testimony from Mr and Mrs Crabb, who live opposite William’s foster grandmother’s house on Benaroon Drive.

They were both asked if they saw Paul Savage on the morning of William’s disappearance, doing his usual walk past their house with his late wife.

They both said they did not recall seeing him that morning.