William Tyrrell’s foster father’s vile words to an 11-year-old girl he is accused of stalking and assaulting were just part of ‘talking to himself’, his lawyer has claimed.
A court has heard a recording of the 57-year-old, known as JS, launching into an expletive-laden rant about the girl as she got into a car for a ride to school at about 7.40am on November 23, 2020.
JS could be heard claiming that the girl had ruined both his and his wife’s lives. He yelled at the crying girl: ‘Move, f***ing move,’ before calling her a ‘f***ing lazy c***’.
In final submissions at Parramatta Local Court on Monday JS’s lawyer, Phillip English, said the outburst was under the man’s breath.
Mr English said the last part of the outburst was ‘very softly spoken, I couldn’t hear it, the next bit, must be sotto voce’ and told Magistrate Susan McIntyre ‘are you satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that this amounts to intimidation? There’s no approach by the accused to (the then primary schoolgirl).’
William Tyrrell’s foster parents leave Parramatta Local Court on Monday after being told a magistrate will decide on their innocence or guilt by March next year
Mr English was appearing on the final day of submissions in a case against JS and William Tyrrell’s foster mother, known as SD, before a decision by Her Honour in March next year.
The foster parents are accused of common assault against a child and stalking, intimidating and causing fear of physical or mental harm against the child between Australia Day 2021 and August 30, 2021.
The foster mother, 58, has pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault against the girl.
She has pleaded not guilty to stalking and intimidation and her husband JS has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
The offences allegedly occurred at two different Sydney North Shore residences, and in a vehicle.
Parramatta Local Court in Sydney’s west has heard recordings of heated verbal exchanges between the child and the parents as well as the sound of the then primary schoolgirl being smacked with a wooden spoon and kicked by the foster mother.
On Monday, Mr English downplayed the assault allegation in which the girl said at one stage that on the day she was kicked by the foster mother that JS ‘grabbed my neck’.
Mr English said in subsequent interviews with police officers, the girl had said the incident was more like pressure on her shoulder and that the child had told them, ‘He usually just yells. I didn’t think he would choke me ‘cos he’s not usually like that’.
A magistrate will decide by March next year if the foster parents of William Tyrrell, known as SD and JS (above) are guilty of stalking and intimidating an 11-year-old girl the foster mother has pleaded guilty to assaulting
William Tyrrell’s foster mother, known as SD, (pictured) pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault at Parramatta Local Court on Monday. The charges related to a young child, who is not William
Mr English told Magistrate McIntyre on Friday that police had been warned about asking ‘leading questions’ of child witnesses and that the alleged assault had happened on what ‘was a very emotional day’.
SD’s lawyer, Sharon Ramsden, told Her Honour she had to consider with the intimidation charges whether the physical acts against the alleged victim were unlawful harm.
‘Otherwise, any time parent says “come here I’m going to slap you on the bottom”, that would amount to intimidation’.
SD’s defence had earlier argued that if a threat by a parent to issue a child with a smacking was deemed criminal ‘that would criminalise every household in Australia’.
But police prosecutor Detective Chief Inspector John Marsh said the ‘smack, smack, smack’ was clear on the recording, and the multiple incidents and alleged threats was ‘certainly not what (happened in) every household in Australia’.
He said there was an incident in which the child used a phone without permission, and then called the foster mother ‘a f***ing b***h’.
‘It is the cumulative effect of all these incidents to show that (the foster mother) knew her conduct was likely to cause fear but nonetheless continued.’
Police allege the mother threatened the girl while her foster father allegedly grabbed her by the neck after the girl said she ‘hated’ them.
JS allegedly ‘grabbed’ the girl about the neck and ‘physically restrained her to sit back down’ in the kitchen of a suburban home.
She later told a teacher she was afraid to go back to the house, police allege.
On one day in November 2021, the child had been placed in a 44-minute time-out period and had then told the couple she ‘hated them’.
Attending the hearing were detectives from Strike Force Rosann, which is investigating the disappearance of William Tyrrell, including the task force commander Detective Chief Inspector David Laidlaw.
The court was told the foster mother had been ‘attempting to intervene in the (alleged) victim’s problematic behaviour’.
She warned the girl that if she were to defecate on the floor she would rub her face in it, it is alleged.
Police allege that when the child screamed out in pain, SD ‘then forced the child to sit on the floor for an extended period of time before kicking the (alleged) victim and causing her pain and bruising.
‘The (alleged) victim is reported to have tried to get up a number of times but (SD) forced her to sit down.’
William Tyrell disappeared aged three in September 2014 in the NSW Mid North Coast town of Kendall and no trace of the toddler has ever been found.
No-one has ever been charged over his disappearance.
A new search of bushland within 700m of the Kendall house where William was last seen was conducted in late 2021, but no items of significance have been identified.
NSW Police have referred a brief to state prosecutors recommending charges be laid against the foster mother over William’s disappearance.
William Tyrrell (above) disappeared aged three in September 2014 in the NSW Mid North Coast town of Kendall and no trace of the toddler has ever been found
SD has denied any involvement and there is no suggestion of her guilt.
The DPP has until late January to decide if to charge SD with perverting the course of justice and interfering with a corpse.
Magistrate McIntyre adjourned Monday’s case until March 22, and continued an Apprehended Violence Order in place protecting the young girl to continue.