Australia

Frank Abbott accused of neighbors

On the penultimate day of William Tyrrell’s inquest, when a woman who heard a child scream from a bush the day after the boy disappeared said to her pediatric neighbor, “You know something.” A dramatic scene erupted in court.

William was pretending to be a tiger in a Spider-Man suit when he disappeared six years ago from his caregiver’s grandmother’s house in Benaloon Drive, a quiet town in northern New South Wales. It was.

An inquest has been underway since March 2019 in front of Harriet Grahame, a deputy state coroner who is tasked with unraveling the mystery of what happened to William on September 12, 2014.

Frank Abbott, a convicted pediatrician who lived in northern New South Wales before being imprisoned for child sexual abuse, has represented himself in an inquest from prison.

On Wednesday, he confronted his former neighbor, Anna Baker, over her evidence that she heard a child screaming in the bush the day after William went missing.

The skirmish took place remotely as Abbott in Lidcom’s courtroom, appeared in the video, and asked Baker, who called the courtroom to face follow-up questions.

When she heard a scream on Tuesday, she told the inquest that she was taking care of strawberries and immediately stood upright, believing that it was a male child.

But she didn’t think it was related to William and didn’t tell the police until 2018 when a friend said her abbott lived directly across from the paddock.

The exchange was tense as Abbott suggested that he could not hear the screams coming from his place.

“I heard a sound from the bush, not your place,” she said.

“You are the only one near the bush, and you are a pediatrician.

“You know something, Frank Abbott.”

When Abbott protested to find William by saying, “I’m on the same boat as you,” Ms. Baker counterattacked, “I’m not on your boatmate.”

In a large police investigation, 26 investigators culminated, but the number has now dropped to five, Criminal Inspector David Laidlaw told the court.

There are also two intelligence analysts working on the case, forming a team of seven.

“Did you give up?” Asked him, a lawyer supporting Gerard Craddock.

“No,” the inspector replied. “We never do that.”

He confirmed that police had not excluded anyone from the investigation, including William’s mother, father, foster parents, and several prominent officials.

“We haven’t closed any doors,” he said, adding that “we would be disappointed if we closed.”

Dr. Helen Patterson, a memory expert and lecturer in forensic psychology at the University of Sydney, told the Inquest:“Our memory isn’t perfect … we don’t remember anything like a video camera,” she said.

“Many people think that memories are a duplicate of what we see, but every time we remember an event, we rebuild it.”

Two of the potentially important eyewitness testimonies, including evidence from William’s foster parents, told the inquest that two strange sedans were parked on a quiet country street the morning William disappeared. I examined one piece of evidence.

The woman initially told the police that she had never seen a suspicious car, but two days later she remembered them and insisted that the photo “burned into my brain.”

It is not backed by other witnesses.

Dr. Patterson said on Wednesday: “I don’t know if it’s a real memory or a false memory. It’s probably a false memory.”

She suggested several possibilities. The adoptive mother may have truly seen the car that morning. You may have seen the car on another day. Or, the main questions and photographs may have instilled a concept in her mind and created false memories.

Dr. Patterson said that self-confidence is not always a good indicator of accuracy, and people who are very confident in their memory and often repeat it to others can have a “confidence inflation” effect over time. Said there is.

She said the effect seems to be in the testimony of Kendall’s man Ron Chapman. He said he saw two cars pass by the house irregularly that morning in 2014.

The first car was driven by a woman, and William Tyrrell stood unrestrained in the backseat in a Spider-Man suit, Chapman told the inquest last year.

“Originally, he wasn’t confident at all,” said Dr. Patterson.

“He didn’t know if it was a dream or something, and over time he became convinced that he saw William Tyrrell in a passing car.”

In an interview, Chapman said she relied on the memory of the “script”, or what usually happened, and said she had forgotten that her relatives were in town and that it wasn’t a normal day.

For her report, Dr. Patterson assumed that neither Mr. Chapman nor his adoptive mother was lying, and that each was doing their best to give an honest explanation.

Broadly speaking, Dr. Patterson said that humans were very poor at determining whether people were lying, especially based on their attitude.

She told the court that you could experience “careless blindness” that you go unnoticed and can’t remember what happened in front of you.

This was measured experimentally, she said. The most famous are those who watched the video and were asked by three people in white shirts to pass the balls to each other.

She said that those who were focused on their work tended to miss “very obvious” people in gorilla suits that hit their chests in the middle of the game.

The court will hear a statement prepared by William’s family and his foster parents on Thursday.

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