A former police officer and criminologist has slammed the long-running investigation into the disappearance of missing toddler William Tyrell, claiming there has “been a major stuff up” in the process.
William vanished from his foster grandmother’s house in New South Wales on September 12, 2014. He had been playing in the front yard of the property in Kendall, and was wearing a Spider-Man costume at the time of his disappearance.
Associate Professor at the University of New England, Dr Michael Kennedy told The Daily Telegraph that due process had been eroded “for the sake of getting an outcome”.
“There’s been a major stuff up and police have been expected to get outcomes that aren’t possible,” he said.
“We need to revert back to a time where police were able to be in control of their own investigations and you couldn’t put pressure on them to get outcomes because it worked politically.
“If that means a case remains unsolved then so be it, the end doesn’t justify the means.
“This is not just about protecting a victim, it’s about protecting everybody. And everybody deserves the presumption of innocence.”
Kennedy’s comments come after a senior detective working on the William Tyrrell investigation recently delivered the stunning claim that the three-year-old’s foster mother knows where he is buried.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Lonergan made the statement to Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday, November 3 where William’s foster mother was facing allegations of giving false or misleading evidence to the New South Wales Crime Commission.
“I’ve formed the view that (the foster mother) knows where William Tyrrell is,” Lonergan told the court.
Defence barrister John Stratton SC rejected the claims before suggesting that police charged William’s foster mother with allegedly lying to the Crime Commission to “pressure her”.
“Our main objective is to find out where William Tyrrell is,” Lonergan replied.
The hearing drew to a close on Friday, November 4 with Magistrate Miranda Moody finding William’s foster mother not guilty of providing false or misleading evidence to the NSW Crime Commission.
Shortly after the verdict was delivered the emotional 57-year-old pleaded with police to “focus on finding William” and finally determine “what happened to him”.
“Her Honour has given a detailed judgment today about the circumstances surrounding this charge being brought against me,” William’s foster mother told reporters.
“She’s found me not guilty of lying to the crime commission. With this behind me, I hope that police focus on finding William and what happened to him.”
William’s foster mother has denied any involvement or wrongdoing in regard to the toddler’s disappearance and has not been charged in relation to the disappearance.