- The toy was found in Bill Spedding’s work van by investigators
- His wife said a child gave it to him ‘to keep him company’ while driving
- William went missing from his grandmother’s home in September
- Separate to this, Mr Spedding was charged with child sex abuse
- His son, Rodney, says his father was not involved in either crimes
- Police are investigating his alleged involvement in a paedophile ring
- Mr Spedding has denied any involvement in William’s disappearance
A Spiderman toy was one of the items investigators seized from the car of Bill Spedding, the person of interest in the case of missing toddler William Tyrrell, who was wearing the superhero’s costume when he disappeared.
The 63-year-old whitegoods repairman is reported to have had the figurine in his work van on the day the then three-year-old went missing from his grandmother’s Kendall home on the mid north coast of New South Wales in September.
When questioned about the doll, his wife Margaret told police it was gifted to him by a four-year-old child ‘to keep him company when he was driving’, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Spedding denies he was involved in the toddler’s disappearance.
It comes just over a month after Mr Spedding’s son publicly came to his father’s defence, claiming he was not involved in the disappearance nor the separate child sex abuse charges he is facing.
Rodney Spedding accused police of ‘losing focus’ in their investigation into the search William and vowed to support his father through the string of accusations, insisting that authorities need to concentrate on finding the missing toddler and returning him to his distraught parents.
‘The attention has overshadowed …They are not going to find [anything] with Bill, but I believe the attention will far outweigh, this will undo everything to do with William Tyrrell while this plays out [his father’s arrest] in the media,’ he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Rodney also spoke out about his father being charged with the alleged sexual assaults of two girls, aged three and six, which police allege took place in 1987 in Sydney’s Campbelltown area.
The comments were made after his father was arrested at his Bonny Hills home in late April and charged with five counts of sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 10 years and two of common assault.
Rodney added that his father, who suffers from Ross River Fever, has really struggled with being in the spotlight since the police first raided his home at the start of the year.
‘It’s been tough for him, he’s been very distraught … It’s been hard for him to get on with life afterwards and trying to get over it and move on.’
Meanwhile, Bill’s granddaughter Maddison, described him as: ‘literally the nicest person you’ll ever meet.’
This comes as it was revealed Spedding was living with three young boys at the time the William vanished – despite authorities being aware of allegations he raped two young girls in 1987.
The mother of the three young boys, who cannot be named, was shocked to discover that the children had been living with a man accused of child abuse.
‘Someone… needs to be held accountable,’ she told The Australian.
The boys’ grandfather told the newspaper: ‘I am very concerned about what may have happened to my grandchildren.’
Spedding was staying in a caravan on a property in Campbelltown in Sydney’s west which was reportedly owned by his friend.
In a victim statement the child, now aged in her 30s, claims she was either thrown against a wall or off the bed when she woke to found herself being raped.
At the time, the child sex assault unit at Westmead Hospital assessed the two children and determined that the three-year-old had been sexually penetrated in a number of ways.
The six-year-old’s injuries were also ruled to have been caused by penetration.
Spedding’s lawyer Robert Hoyles said the accused is adamant he is innocent and has done nothing wrong.
‘One might say Mr Spedding will deny these allegations until his final breath,’ Mr Hoyles said.
The court heard Spedding denied the claims when police initially put them to him in the 1980s.
The case is only as strong as it was in 1987, Mr Hoyles said.
However, the magistrate found Spedding had not shown cause as to why detention was unjustified given the serious nature of the offences and Spedding was denied bail.
Mr Spedding applied for bail but it was refused by Magistrate Thomas Hodgson.
He will next appear in court on June 18.