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William Tyrrell’s former foster parents appeal convictions

William Tyrrell's former foster parents have appeals set to be heard separately next year.

William Tyrrell's former foster parents have appeals set to be heard separately next year. Photo: AAP

William Tyrrell’s former foster parents have launched an appeal of their convictions and the severity of a sentence handed down for the assault and intimidation of another child under their care.

Lawyers for one of the parents appeared at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday about 2½ months after they were convicted by a local magistrate.

The couple, who cannot be legally named or identified, were found to have intimidated a child who is not William on separate occasions.

The mother’s threats to slap the child on two occasions counted as intimidation, Magistrate Susan McIntyre found in March.

The woman was heard saying to the child: “I shouldn’t have to get to the point where I threaten to hurt you because it’s a massive problem”.

She earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of assault after striking the child with a wooden spoon and kicking them on the thigh.

The foster father was also convicted for intimidating the child on one occasion while driving to school, when the youngster was heard crying and sobbing.

Prosecutors relied on more than 1000 hours of covert recordings made in the couple’s home and vehicles over 14 months in 2020 and 2021.

Tyrrell

A reward remains for information about William Tyrrell’s disappearance. Photo: AAP

The recordings were made by detectives investigating the disappearance of three-year-old William, who went missing while playing at his foster grandmother’s home in Kendall on the NSW mid-north coast on September 12, 2014.

McIntyre cleared the foster mother of five counts of intimidation and dismissed one count of assaulting the child against the foster father.

The pair were convicted and handed 12-month good behaviour bonds.

They will next appear for a brief mention at Downing Centre District Court on June 25.

Police inquiries over whether the foster mother was involved in William’s disappearance have been paused until an inquest into the toddler’s death resumes.

Investigators had provided a brief for prosecutors to consider potential charges against the woman, who they believed might have disposed of William’s body after his accidental death.

She has always denied having anything to do with William’s disappearance.

No one has been charged in the case and a $1 million reward for information still stands.

-AAP

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