1. “Devastating.” Bill Spedding on the impact of being linked to William Tyrrell’s disappearance.
One-time person-of-interest in the disappearance of William Tyrrell, Bill Spedding, says the intense police and media scrutiny he endured has had a “devastating impact” on him and his family.
Flanked by his wife Margaret and his lawyer Peter O’Brien, Spedding on Monday said he had told police and a NSW coroner everything he could to help them find William.
The three-year-old went missing from his foster grandmother’s home in Kendall, on NSW’s mid-north coast, at about 10.15am on September 12, 2014.
Spedding, a whitegoods repairman who visited the home three days earlier to fix a washing machine, has always vehemently denied any involvement.
— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) August 26, 2019
He had ordered parts for the broken washing machine and planned to return to the home, the court heard.
“Obviously the police, and the investigation and the media interest in mine and Margaret’s movements have had a devastating impact on my life, my family’s life and livelihood,” he told reporters outside the NSW Coroners Court.
“I thank my family, friends and legal team in getting me through this.
“I know what I’ve been through is nothing compared to what William’s family are going through now.”
The inquest on Monday heard that on the day William went missing, Spedding and his wife met for coffee about 9.30am at Cafe Buzz in Laurieton, a 15-minute drive from Kendall.
They had a coffee and shared some food before walking across the road for the local school’s assembly, where a child they cared for was to receive an award.
A receipt shown to the inquest showed the Speddings’ joint account was used to purchase a ham and cheese croissant, a citrus tart and two large cappuccinos at 9.42am.