Coroner’s pledge on William Tyrrell

The NSW Coroner will hold an inquest into the suspected death of missing three-year-old William Tyrrell, who disappeared from his grandmother’s home on the state’s mid-north coast in September 2014.

An exchange of correspond­ence, seen by The Australian, confirms that “an inquest will proceed in William’s case” after it was referred to Coroner Michael Barnes for consideration in Jan­uary 2015.

The letters, which represent the first time such a commitment has been made public, caution that any such inquiry­ will take place only after the current police investigation, which has identified hundreds of “persons of interest”, is complete.

“All coronial matters, not just this matter, take a significant amount of time and resources to proceed to inquest. Some matters can take a few years,” said one of the letters, written by Coroner’s Court registrar Ann Lambino.

“In William’s case it has not even been established if he is in fact deceased,” another said.

Last September, the NSW government announced a record $1 million reward for information that could lead police to the missing boy, who disappeared from Kendall two years before, aged three. Premier Mike Baird has also promised the boy’s parents and police involved that his government would provide any resource­ the investigation needs.

William’s disappearance is being investigated by a dedicated police strike force, codenamed Rosann and led by the force’s Homicide Squad, which has identified about 400 known persons of interest.

Detectives from other specialist squads, as well as officers from local area commands across the state, have also been assigned to work on the investigation, the scale and structure of which is unprecedented. No one has been charged in relation to William’s disappearance to date.

The NSW Coroner previously led the inquest into the 2003 death of 13-year-old Daniel Morcomb­e on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, which was crucial­ in identifying his killer. During the 2010-11 inquiry, Mr Barnes and his legal team identified a number of flaws in the police investigation, including the failure to pursue a known sex ­offender, Brett Peter Cowan, who was interviewed early in the case.

Cowan was eventually forced to appear before the inquest and subsequently became the target of a police operation that led to the discovery of Daniel’s remains.

He was convicted of the murder in March 2014.

“In general terms, the coroner­ does have jurisdiction over ­William’s disappearance, has police investigating this, and will conduct an inquest once their ­investigation is complete,” said the correspondence seen by The ­Australian.

“I can indicate that an inquest will proceed in William’s case as the role of a coroner is to establish five factors … who died, where they died, when they died and the manner and cause of their death.

“In William’s case it has not even been established if he is in fact deceased, so manner and cause are still outstanding factors.

“Therefore this means that an inques­t into his disappearance and suspected death must be held.”

The three-year-old was last seen wearing his favourite Spider-Man suit and playing with his four-year-old sister in the garden of their grandmother’s home outside Kendall on the morning of Septembe­r 12, 2014. About 10.30am, his mother went inside to make a cup of tea, then realised she could no longer hear her son.

Hundreds of police, SES and local volunteers searched the surrounding bush for days but failed to find any trace of the boy.

Detectives believe that William was probably abducted, although this is thought more likely to have been an impulsive decision on the part of his captor than a planned attack.

A small number of those persons of interest identified by police have been named in media reports in recent years, though each has denied any connection to the case.

These include alleged and convicted sex offenders, some of whom have links to each other.

Source : http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/coroners-pledge-on-william-tyrrell/news-story/33ee25ca733a981ec54c7a091d1a7cb2

You must be logged in to comment due to spam issues.