He conceded that one comment in July 2021, where the foster mother said she would slap the child across the face if they gave her attitude, could potentially satisfy the legal elements of the offence of intimidation.
Magistrate Susan McIntyre declined to dismiss the charges, finding the foster mother had a prima facie case to answer. She said the foster mother told the child in one recording: “If I see or hear you throw something around again, that won’t be the only thing that gets thrown.”
“I can really only take the word ‘throw’ to mean a physicality,” McIntyre said.
The magistrate said the words in the recording where the foster mother said she would “outlast” the child “ultimately speak for themselves”.
Earlier on Friday, the court heard the foster parents had provided emergency and short-term care for numerous children over the years, including seven children between 2017 and 2021.
Adam McMahon, a foster care support worker with the Department of Communities and Justice, agreed that the husband and wife were considered reliable and trustworthy carers who were often called upon to help out when the department was in a jam.
McMahon said he went to the foster parents’ house in 2012 for a home visit and discovered the mother was using an “exclusionary time out” for a two-year-old child in her care, which involved placing them outside. He said this method was not endorsed by the department.
William, 3, vanished from his foster grandmother’s home at Kendall on the NSW Mid North Coast on September 12, 2014.
Despite a lengthy investigation and an inquest that began in 2019, no trace of William has ever been found and no one has been charged over his disappearance.
The hearing was adjourned to December 4. A judgment is expected to be delivered next year.
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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/magistrate-rejects-attempt-by-tyrrell-foster-mother-to-have-charges-thrown-out-20230908-p5e366.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Magistrate rejects attempt by William Tyrrell foster mother to have intimidation charges thrown out