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A senior detective has dropped a bombshell in a Sydney court claiming he believes that William Tyrrell’s foster mother knows where the missing toddler’s body is. 

‘I’ve formed the view (the foster mother) knows where William Tyrrell is’, Detective Sergeant Andrew Lonergan told the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday afternoon.

Det Sgt Lonergan made the comments under cross-examination by the foster mother’s barrister John Stratton.

William vanished from his foster grandmother’s home in Kendall, on the NSW north coast, on September 12, 2014 and has not been seen since. 

His foster mother, a 57-year-old from the city’s north who cannot be named for legal reasons, is facing a two-day court hearing, charged with giving false or misleading evidence to the top secret NSW Crime Commission. She has pleaded not guilty. 

William Tyrrell's foster mother (above in June) will spend two days at a hearing into allegations she lied to the top secret NSW Crime Commission just days before a high intensity dig for her missing foster son

William Tyrrell’s foster mother (above in June) will spend two days at a hearing into allegations she lied to the top secret NSW Crime Commission just days before a high intensity dig for her missing foster son

The Crime Commission hearings police alleged the foster mother lied to were held just days before investigators launched a surprise high-intensity dig at Kendall for the remains of William Tyrrell (above)

The Crime Commission hearings police alleged the foster mother lied to were held just days before investigators launched a surprise high-intensity dig at Kendall for the remains of William Tyrrell (above)

When Mr Stratton asked Det Sgt Lonergan if he was pursuing the foster mother on charges to ‘break her spirit’, the police officer said the purpose of her appearing before the Crime Commission was to ‘find the location of William Tyrrell.’ 

It comes as the court heard police had bugged the foster parents’ homes with nine listening devices and eight hidden cameras. 

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Dramatic audio was also played in court of audio of a ten-year-old child – who is not William – crying and yelling out ‘no, no, nooooo’ as she was allegedly disciplined with a wooden spoon in January 2021. 

The court heard that the foster mother had denied having struck the girl – who cannot be identified – to the Crime Commission last November.   

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Amin Asaad told the court that ‘allegations involving the child … were put to the accused’ at the Crime Commission. 

Sen Sgt Asaad said that the foster mother had ‘denied those propositions’ and then ‘seconds or minutes after event contacted her husband and added certain things disclosing the offence … and certain observations regarding the event’.

The audio begins with a female voice, possibly of the girl, saying, ‘I am calling the police’ and then a child screaming ‘no’ and crying, panting and sobbing.

The foster mother of William Tyrrell is facing a two day hearing on a charge of lying to the Crime Commission

The foster father will front court next year for allegedly making a false statement to the top secret crime fighting body

The foster mother of William Tyrrell is facing a two day hearing on a charge of lying to the Crime Commission. The foster father will front court next year for allegedly making a false statement to the top secret crime fighting body

Then there is the sound of a possible slap and the foster mother ordering the child, ‘stand up. Stand up’. 

The child said ‘no, please no, Nooooooo’ and the being told to ‘Sit down. Sit.’

The court was played a subsequent conversation between the foster mother and foster father in which he says, ‘oh that’s not good. We’ve got a problem. 

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‘We’ve got a big problem.’

In cross-examination of Det Sgt Lonergan about detectives’ purpose in pursuing the foster mother on charges, John Stratton SC accused the detective of lying, which he repeatedly denied.

The officer agreed when Det Sgt Lonergan asked whether William Tyrrell’s body had ever been located and that the foster mother had ‘made complaints about police lack of progress in the investigation’.

But when asked whether it was his hope to break the foster mother’s ‘spirit’, Det Sgt Lonergan told the court the woman had ‘committed an offence.

‘She was given an opportunity to give her evidence at the Crime Commission where she could tell the truth and she wouldn’t be punished, as in charges’.

Detective Andrew Lonergan (second right) with Professor Jon Olley, who found murdered Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morecombe's remains in 2011, at the William Tyrrell dig in Kendall late last year

Detective Andrew Lonergan (second right) with Professor Jon Olley, who found murdered Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morecombe’s remains in 2011, at the William Tyrrell dig in Kendall late last year

The foster mother arrived at court on Thursday wearing black trousers and a black and white checked jacket and in the company of two marketing consultants, Clare and Alice Collins, who run the Where’s William PR campaign. 

Ex-detective Gary Jubelin, the former boss of the task force investigating William’s disappearance, also listened in to the hearing. The hearing continues. 

body last November after being secretly summonsed to appear at the NSWCC Surry Hills headquarters.

The foster father testified for up to two hours, and the foster mother is believed to have been questioned for longer.

The foster parents’ appearance at the Crime Commission occurred as NSW Police hierarchy was planning the launch of their surprise new ‘high intensity’ search of bushland and a house for the remains of William Tyrrell. 

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Late last year, police scoured bushland near Kendall for weeks in a bid to find William. 

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