William Tyrrell Inquest: Neighbour Admired Boy's Close Relationship With Foster Dad
Just a few months before William Tyrrell went missing, neighbour Paul Savage remembers admiring the close relationship the three-year-old shared with his foster dad.
Savage, a key witness in the case, finally took the stand on Tuesday at the inquest into the little boy’s disappearance.
The 74-year-old widower lived across the road from William’s foster grandmother, when he disappeared while playing in her garden almost five years ago.
The year before, Savage attended a Christmas Party at the home, where he noticed the young boy and his foster dad.
“I thought they had a good bond, just watching them walk around and that and how much the little fella followed him,” he told the Coroners Court in Lidcombe.
Earlier, the inquest heard evidence from Detective Sergeant Laura Beacroft, who pinpointed the time William disappeared to between 10.05am and 10.15am on the 12th September 2014.
In police interviews at the time, Savage was home on the phone to a local hospital from 9.59am to 10.07am.
Earlier he’d gone for a walk, then had breakfast on his patio, went back inside with his wife Heather before she left for bingo.
In a police interview, former lead detective Gary Jubelin asked Savage about sitting on his patio “listening to them play” in reference to William and his sister.
Savage’s lawyer argued he did not have a line of sight to the children.
On Tuesday, Savage told the inquest the day before William went missing he saw an unfamiliar car in their street.
“It made a roar a lot worse than the average car,” he said.
He looked out the front door and saw a dull, red Nissan wagon, 90s square-type model drive up the hill and into the bush, but he did not see it come back down.
“This was a car you didn’t associate with any local?” counsel assisting Gerard Craddock SC asked.
“No,” he replied.
He was then asked what car he had at the time.
“I think it was my Mitsubishi Pajero,” Savage said, adding he had driven it up the fire trail in the past.
He agreed his car was able to navigate the steep, bumpy incline without getting stuck.
The inquest continues.