The foster father of William Tyrrell (above) was summonsed to appear before a secret hearing of the NSW Crime Commission on November 11 last year, days before the fresh dig for the toddler’s remains
William Tyrrell’s foster father faces a lengthy two-day trial into charges he allegedly lied in a secret hearing of the state’s top crime fighting body.
On Tuesday, a surprised Magistrate Miranda Moody questioned the need for two days to hear the two charges of lying to the NSW Crime Commission when the foster father’s lawyer Carly Hydes insisted the time was needed as ‘there’s an enormous amount of material’ including the accused’s police interview and ‘further electronic material’ to be played in court.
‘Two days?’ Magistrate Moody responded, ‘two days is a lot of time to ask for and we are very, very tight in the (court) diary.
‘That does not look a two day matter to me.
‘Sergeant, do you agree with that?,’ the Magistrate asked the police prosecutor, ‘How many witnesses are there for the defence?’
The 55-year-old foster father was charged by two detectives from the Unsolved Homicide team with knowingly giving false and misleading evidence after being arrested in January.
Ms Hydes said her client had a ‘long audio’ interview with police and further material was being collected.
After conferring with the prosecutor, she returned to the court room and told Magistrate Moody the request for a two day hearing was ‘maintained’.
The hearing will take place in the Downing Centre Local Court on October 12 and 13.
Court documents seen by Daily Mail Australia reveal the foster father was charged by Detective Sergeant Andrew Lonergan and Detective Sergeant Trent Power from the Unsolved Homicide team, part of NSW Police State Crime Command.
Det Sgt Lonergan is a senior detective in the strike force investigating the disappearance of William Tyrrell in 2014.
The missing toddler’s foster father, who detectives claim has ‘lied about something we can prove’, gave the allegedly false evidence to the secretive NSW Crime Commission late last year.
The foster father testified for up to two hours after being secretly summonsed to appear at the NSWCC Surry Hills headquarters on November 11.
This was four days before NSW Police launched a surprise ‘high intensity’ search of bushland around 800m from the house where William had been staying with his foster parents when he vanished seven years ago.
Unsolved Homicide team Detective Sergeant Andrew Lonergan (above, right, with fellow task force detective Mark Dukes and paedophile Tony Jones, centre, at the Tyrrell inquest) charged the missing toddler’s foster father
Unsolved Homicide team detectives charged William’s 55-year-old foster father (above) with allegedly making two false and misleading statements to a secret Crime Commission hearing
Detective Andrew Lonergan (above, centre, at the William Tyrrell dig in Kendall with body finder expert Prof. Jon Olley, right) charged the foster father with allegedly ‘lying about something we can prove’
On the second day of the search for William’s remains at a dig site in the NSW Mid North Coast town of Kendall, the boy’s foster mother was declared a person of interest in his disappearance.
Then NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said investigators were focusing ‘one person in particular that we are looking closely at’, adding he was confident Strike Force Rosann ‘can solve’ the mystery.
The foster father, whose identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons, was charged by Detective Lonergan in January this year with two counts of ‘knowingly provide false and misleading evidence’.
The charges were only revealed on Wednesday following a revision of non-publication orders surrounding the case.
Detective Lonergan was one of several senior detectives who worked on the four week long dig at Kendall, which wound up on December 16.
The NSW Crime Commission hearing was held at its Surry Hills headquarters (above) where the foster father testified for up to two hours and, police allege, gave two false and misleading statements
Detective Sergeant Lonergan, second right, with Detective Sean Ogilvy, second left, and Professor Jon Olley, right, at the Kendall dig on the last day of the search for William Tyrrell’s remains
Along with fellow senior strike force investigator Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Dukes, Lonergan escorted convicted paedophile Tony Jones when he gave evidence at the William Tyrrell inquest in 2020.
The details of what exactly is the evidence provided to the NSW Crime Commission by the foster father which police claim is false and misleading are unavailable.
A police officer in the William Tyrrell investigative team Strike Force Rosann has alleged the missing toddler’s foster father has been caught out ‘lying about something we can prove.’
However, speaking on the condition of anonymity, a strike force officer told Nine newspapers ‘that we can prove’ he had made a false statement.
The foster father has entered pleas of not guilty to both charges.
The NSW Crime Commission is the top intelligence agency which investigates organised and serious crime in the state, but is rarely written about.
Working closely with the NSW Police Force, the NSWCC works to combat drug trafficking, organised crime, tax evasion, and terrorism related offences.
Detectives Marks Dukes (left) and Andrew Lonergan (right) escort convicted paedophile Tony Jones (centre) to Taree Local Court to give evidence at the William Tyrrell coronial inquest
The officer from Strike Force Rosann, which was set up to investigate the 2014 disappearance of three-year-old William Tyrrell (above) said detectives could prove the foster father had made a false statement
The case has been subject to strict suppression orders but these were varied on Wednesday morning in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court.
William’s foster father and foster mother, 56, were charged in November 2021 in relation to the alleged assault of a child who is not William Tyrrell.
Both foster parents – whose identities are suppressed for legal reasons – have pleaded not guilty, and have indicated they may apply to have the matter heard under the Mental Health Act.
Last month, William’s foster mother was charged with another count of common assault of a child, which also does not relate to William, and her lawyer has indicated she will plead not guilty.
The Sydney couple were foster parents to the three-year-old when he disappeared from the NSW Mid North Coast town of Kendall, in September 2014.
William Tyrrell had been placed with the couple in March 2012 as a foster child in the care of the then state minister for family and community services until he was 18 years old.
William was driven to the Kendall home of his foster grandmother on Friday, September 11, 2014 and was last seen playing on the verandah of the house on the Saturday morning.
A widespread search for him in the surrounding area failed to find any trace of him.
Last November, NSW police revealed the foster mother was being treated as a person of interest in William’s case.
William Tyrrell was fostered by the 54-year-old man (above) and his wife, 56, at the time the toddler vanished, aged 3, from Kendall and has never been seen again
A new search for William’s remains at Kendall began at the same time and continued for four weeks.
Police, SES and rural fire workers along with detectives from Strike Force Rosann spent four weeks late last year digging up a section of forest less than a kilometre from the house where William vanished.
The foster mother denied any involvement in William’s disappearance and no charges have ever been laid against any person.
Combing bushland and digging with excavators, police searched along Batar Creek Road, Kendall for William’s remains and scraps from the SpiderMan suit he was last seen wearing.
Police said William’s foster mother was seen driving along the road on the morning the boy vanished.