William Tyrell: Police Following 'Active Leads' Ahead Of Inquest
The foster parents of William Tyrell sat in the front row of the NSW Coroner’s Court as lawyers mapped out an inquest into the little boy’s disappearance on the NSW mid-north coast more than four years ago.
Counsel Assisting the coroner, Gerard Craddock SC told the court the inquest next year will examine William’s “suspected death” after he vanished from his foster grandmother’s front yard at Kendall in September 2014.
“It will seek to determine whether he is alive or dead”, he said.
But he also alluded to the fact that William’s body has never been found.
“The present state of evidence is that it isn’t presently possible to conclude that William is dead.”
“The investigation is ongoing and police are following active leads at present.”
William’s foster parents, who are not legally able to be identified because of a court order said nothing as they left.
The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin confirmed plenty of work was still being done on the case.
“It’s a matter before the coroner, but it is an active investigation”, he said.
William’s foster parents will be represented at the inquest by barrister Gail Furness SC.
The Department of Family and Community Services will also have legal representation, as William was in the department’s care when he vanished.
Washing machine repairman William Spedding - who was previously investigated as a person of interest in the case, but never charged - will also be giving evidence.
“He’s been summoned to attend so, of course, he’s going to be represented”, said his lawyer Peter O’Brien, who also warned media to “be very careful how you report this.”
Spedding has always denied any involvement.
But perhaps the most unusual appearance announced before Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame was via speakerphone from Kendall.
Paul Savage, who lives across the road from William’s foster grandmother and who reportedly helped in the initial search, couldn’t make it to court himself and told the court he was still sorting out his lawyer.
He thanked Magistrate Grahame for allowing him to listen in on the phone and confirmed he would be available to appear in person when the inquest gets underway on March 25.
Sitting at the state’s new Forensic Medicine & Coroner's Court Complex at Lidcombe, the initial tranche of hearings will last for one week.
The inquest will then be adjourned until August 5, when more hearings will be held.
Today’s directions hearing comes six months after police launched an intensive new search for clues in streets and bushland surrounding the property where William was last seen.