William Tyrrell’s foster mother has broken down in court during the playing of a recording of the moment she whacked an 11-year-old girl with a wooden spoon.
The distressing audio tape has the foster mother, known only as SD, telling the girl to go and get the wooden spoon, followed by a crack when the girl is hit.
Afterwards the couple can be heard in a subsequent phone call, with the foster mother telling the foster father they had a problem because the assault had ‘left a welt’.
The audio was played in Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday afternoon.
The Tyrrell foster mum can be heard hitting the girl, before the girl then issues an anguished series of wails of ‘help me’.
SD then tells the girl to ‘shut up’.
The foster mother wept and embraced the foster father during the playing of the 30-minute recording, which stemmed from a late night confrontation between the girl and the foster parents after some of the child’s clothes and toys had been taken away.
William Tyrrell’s foster mother (centre) – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – faced court on Tuesday alongside the missing boy’s foster father
The assault, to which the foster mother has pleaded guilty, happened on January 26, 2021.
The recording was made after SD complained that the girl had ‘lost $120 worth of clothes’ and that she owned ‘over a thousand dollars of toys’.
SD later told a friend she had ‘cleared out’ the girl’s room, ‘tipped out her toys’ and reduced her to a few pairs of clothes, telling the friend, ‘I feel awful … but I have to do it, I have to break her.’
In the tape, at the sight of the cleared room, the girl sobs and first cries out at the couple ‘you’ve ruined everything. You’ve taken everything and I don’t know where it is.’
Then she says ‘Help please, I need some help. I need some help. Hello, I need some help. Please, I need some help.’
She then breaks into loud anguished sobbing and screams, ‘Please help me. You are not allowed to do that to me. I need help. I need help. I need help. I need help. I just need help. I just need some help. I just need some help.’
On the tape recording, the girl can be heard moving and she says ‘I have the iPad upstairs. I’m calling’.
Movement can be heard, then the girl’s anguished screams, sobbing and the foster mother saying ‘Get up, get up, away from the screen’, telling her to move her hands before the moment she is then is struck with the wooden spoon.
The girl then erupts into a series of nine long, drawn-out utterances of ‘Noooo’.
It was at this point listening in the court room that the foster mother broke down and cried and her barrister requested a short break, which Magistrate McIntyre granted.
In a subsequent audio recording, the foster mother tells the girl that if she hears one more sound out of her that evening then SD will be going up to the girl’s room and removing her meal.
‘You seem to think that you can control me, that you control the situation. You can’t, you never will,’ SD says.
In a subsequent phone call, SD tells the foster father that following the wooden spoon incident, which left a welt, the girl had locked her out of the house.
JS replies, ‘We have a problem, a big problem’, to which SD replies, ‘We have a massive problem.’
In a later recording SD also tells the girl that just because ‘you can’t stand up for yourself at school’ doesn’t mean the 11-year-old can push SD around.
Multiple disturbing recordings have been played in court of the 11-year-old girl screaming and sobbing inconsolably as William Tyrrell’s foster parents yell and berate her.
Sydney’s Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday was played 15 recordings in cars and homes in which the missing boy’s foster parents have heated exchanges with the schoolgirl that the foster mother has pleaded guilty to assaulting.
In one audio recording, an apparently enraged foster father screams at the girl in a car as the ABC Radio morning news plays in the background. It starts: ‘Every f***ing day!
‘Close the front door. Move, f***ing move! We’re done with this game. I’m over it. Out. It’s f***ing ridiculous. I’m f***ing over it. It’s f***ing stupid.’
As the sound of the child’s sobbing continues, the foster father says: ‘I’m done with it. You don’t understand, you do this every day. Every day!’
‘Don’t lose your s*** now,’ he says as more loud sobbing can be heard.
In a recorded exchange with the girl, the foster mother tells her: ‘Look at me. The next time you talk back to me this is going on your bottom.’
A loud banging sound, although not a smack, is then heard.
In another recording, during an argument over the girl’s clothes, the foster mother yells: ‘Keep going, keep going, I will outlast you, you will not beat me at this.
‘Look at me, I’m stronger. I will outlast you. You keep on, I’ll go higher, I’ll go harder. Your choice.’
The foster mother wept and embraced the foster father (the couple pictured above) as harrowing audio was played in court of her hitting the 11-year-old girl with a wooden spoon, then telling her to ‘shut up’ as the child sobbed and begged for help
As one recording of the girl sobbing and wailing loudly was played, the foster mother smiled at the foster father in court and then dabbed a rolled up tissue at the corner of each eye.
The recordings being played date from November 2020 and January 2021.
In one of the recordings, the foster mother tells the 11-year-old in a loud and strident tone: ‘Listen to me. Do what I say, not what you want. Not your position. MY position.
‘You will do it MY WAY.’
On 26 January, 2021, in an argument about the girl having too many clothes, while a radio plays in the background SD told the girl: ‘Be quiet, you don’t get to talk, you have absolutely nothing to say. Zero.’
When the girl reacts and says, wailing ‘I hate you’, SD responds. ‘You do what we tell you to do. NO means No.’
Both foster parents also appear to challenge or berate the girl for reportedly telling a friend at school about what has allegedly been going on at home.
The foster mother tells the girl that if what she told (her school friend) and that friend ‘tells her mum, her mum is going to have to report it … (that) another girl at school has been intimidated by her parents blah blah blah blah blah’.
She says to the girl, ‘you never have been in a position when you can’t tell me anything … you have always been able to tell me.
‘You need to continue to tell me. And it doesn’t matter whether you get into trouble,., anybody gets into trouble, you have to tell me.
‘Did you tell anybody else?’
Cop takes the stand
The recordings are being played after the Officer in Charge of the investigation, Detective Senior Constable Sean Ogilvy, took the stand on Monday morning.
Police planned to play recordings of up to four hours of evidence recorded in homes and vehicles in relation to allegations of assault, stalking and intimidation against the missing toddler’s foster parents.
William Tyrrell’s foster mother is facing the second day of her trial with the foster father on stalk and assault charges after she pleaded guilty to two charges of hitting and kicking an 11-year-old girl.
The 58-year-old entered the plea at the beginning of a five-day court hearing into allegations of violence against the young girl.
The offences involve the foster mother kicking the girl and hitting her with a wooden spoon during confrontations with the then primary schoolgirl over a mobile phone and after the child told the foster parents ‘I hate you’.
The foster parents of missing toddler William Tyrrell (above) are accused of assaulting and stalking and intimidating a primary age schoolgirl in 2021 in a raft of incidents between January and August
The officer in charge of the case – Detective Senior Constable Sean Ogilvy – has taken the stand as disturbing recordings have been played in court
Following the two guilty pleas, the foster mother failed in a bid by her lawyer to have the five-day trial held in secret and closed off to the public and the media.
The foster parents, referred to before the court as SD (the foster mother) and JS (the foster father), are accused of common assault against a child and stalk, intimidate and cause fear of physical or mental harm against a child between Australia Day 2021 and August 30, 2021.
The offences allegedly occurred at two different Sydney North Shore residences.
The foster mother maintained pleas of not guilty to two separate charges of stalking and intimidating the young girl.
William 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.