A convicted sex offender did not report a “peculiar smell” coming from bushland near where William Tyrrell went missing, because he didn’t want to “get the blame for it”, an inquest has been told.
- A former employer said Frank Abbott told her of a bad smell near where the toddler went missing
- Another witness said Abbott boasted about how he “beat a murder charge in Sydney”
- Abbott is among hundreds of persons of interest in the toddler’s suspected murder
Frank Abbott, who has been watching several witnesses give evidence from Cessnock jail, used to do repair jobs at Top Takeaway at Wauchope.
The former shop owner Jan Anderson, her son Dean and daughter, Sherie, were all asked about their relationship with Abbott while giving evidence before Taree Courthouse.
“He kept going on about a bad smell around Logans Crossing area. We said it was probably a dead kangaroo … he said ‘I know the difference between a dead kangaroo and a dead human’,” Mr Anderson told the inquest.
Counsel Assisting Gerard Craddock asked Jan Anderson whether Abbott had reported the mystery smell to police.
“He said, ‘No, no, no, I am not going to do that … if there is something up there, I will get the blame for it’,” she said.
Police searching ‘in the wrong spot’
The court also heard about a comment Abbott made when police searched a property of a washing machine repairman after William Tyrrell vanished from Kendall on the NSW mid-north coast on September 12, 2014.
“Frank made a comment he thought they were searching in the wrong spot for William Tyrrell, which seemed like a very strange comment to make,” Mr Anderson said.
Dean Anderson described Abbott as a “dirty old man” who would constantly go on about how he “beat a murder charge in Sydney” like “it was a badge of honour”.
Ms Anderson also told the court about how her family was “weary of him” when he did odd jobs out the back of her shop.
“He always used to be friendly to the children — we just had a feeling we didn’t trust him around children — we made a particular point of not having the children or grandchildren near Frank,” she said.
Coroner Harriet Grahame has continually reminded Abbott that he will have a chance to give evidence and to focus on asking witnesses questions instead of making statements.
Abbott is among hundreds of persons of interest linked to the suspected murder of William Tyrrell, although no charges have been laid and no one has ever been arrested.
The inquest is expected to wrap up by the end of next week before the findings are handed down at a later date.