Bombshell statement: Aged care nurse Kirston Okpegbue after giving evidence at the William Tyrrell inquest
A nurse has made a bombshell statement to the inquest into William Tyrrell’s disappearance, telling how a dying man made a chilling confession with his head rested on her shoulder.
The coronial inquest into the little boy’s suspected abduction from his foster grandmother’s home in September 2014 has been rocked by bombshell evidence from Port Macquarie aged care nurse Kirston Okpegbue.
In a statement released by the court overnight, Ms Okpegbue, 44, described how Ray Porter approached her in the corridor of Uniting Mingaletta during a medication drop one morning in April 2019.
Mr Porter told her he had ‘picked up his best mate’, known as Frank, from Kendall School and ‘from there they drove 300km’ north, the inquest has been told.
It was not explicitly said that Mr Porter was referring to Frank Abbott – a convicted paedophile who lived in a caravan not far from where William vanished, and who the inquest has recently focused upon.
But the inquest heard Mr Porter only spoke of two friends – one known as “Frank” – and that Mr Porter and Abbott were fishing buddies.
Ms Okpegbue reported her startling conversation to her supervisor, later to her facility manager, and then to the police.
Below, Ms Okpegbue details just what happened in a police statement tendered to the NSW Coroner’s Court:
The inquest has focused on convicted paedophile Frank Abbott in recent weeks. Daily Mail Australia revealed he was arrested in prison for questioning in late November 2019
‘I felt his presence behind me’: Extract from nurses’s bombshell William Tyrrell statement
In the morning on either a Tuesday or Thursday I was doing the medications rounds with Uniting Mingaletta.
This basically involves me distributing medications to the residents we care for.
This morning medication round commences at 7.15am and usually takes about 45 minutes.
On this particular morning I had completed several medications drops and I was walking in an area called the Long Corridor of the Kippara wing.
‘About half way along the Long Corridor I felt the presence of someone standing behind me.
‘I turned around and saw the patient I know as Ray Porter standing close by.
Ms Okpegbue drew police this diagram of the ‘Long Corridor’ where she and Mr Porter had a conversation in April 2019
‘Whilst we were standing there, Ray placed his head down and rested it on my right shoulder. We then had the following conversation:
He said: ‘Where have you been?’
Little boy lost: William Tyrrell, three, vanished from his foster grandmother’s home at Kendall on September 12, 2014
I said: ‘I have been on days off’
He said: ‘I have been waiting for you to come back, because you have one of the faces I can trust. I don’t want to talk anymore. I have had enough of these people coming up to talk to me’.
(Whilst Ray said this, I believed he was talking about members of his family)
I said: ‘What are you talking about?’
He said: ‘I don’t want any more visitors’
I said: ‘If there are people that you don’t want to visit you, you can just let us know and we can make another time for them to come.’
He said: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong, all I did was give my best mate and the boy a lift?’
I said: ‘Who?’
He said: ‘The boy that went missing down in Kendall?’
I said: ‘Are you talking about William Tyrrell?’
He said: ‘Yes’.
During the conversation I saw that Ray appeared to be down and distressed. I noticed his eyes were also watery and he was resting his head on my shoulder.
Ms Okpegbue outside Taree Local Court, after giving evidence to the inquest into the little boy’s disappearance
‘After the conversation stopped, I saw that Ray walked back up to his room and I continue with his medication rounds’.
After that conversation stopped I saw that Ray walked back to his room and I continued with the medication rounds.
‘Whilst I was doing my rounds I kept thinking about the conversation I had just had with Ray.
‘I remember I was confused about what I should do next. I was thinking should I go back into his room and ask him more questions about what he said, or should I just report it to my supervisor ….
‘I went straight to the nurse’s station and informed my shift supervisor Carol ….
‘At 11.30am I completed the lunchtime medication rounds which involved me going back into Ray’s room. I did not have any further conversations with him.
‘During the rest of the shift I did not have any further contact or conversations with Ray. I did however note that Ray did not leave his room for the rest of the day.
Search for William: Police search a woodpile near where Frank Abbott once lived last August
‘It’s difficult to tell if this is strange behaviour or not because Ray does tend to just stay in his room most days ….
‘On Thursday the 18 July 2019 I was working at Uniting Mingaletta in the Ashdown Ring.
‘I was approached by another nurse named Robyn Seymour. Robyn said, ‘have you heard that police have been trying to get a confession out of Ray before he passes about the missing boy William Tyrrell.
‘I told Robyn I had not heard anything about this. After Robyn said this though it immediately triggered the conversation I had with Ray two and a half or three months ago.
‘I then told Robyn about my conversation with Ray and she told me I needed to tell someone about it.
‘A short time later I was called into the office (by her supervisor)… (I was told) I would have to talk with the police about this conversation.’
The William Tyrrell inquest will be adjourned to a later date after hearing evidence on Wednesday, due to the COVID-19 crisis.