By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
William Tyrrell – the little boy in the Spiderman suit – has now been missing for almost six years.
On 12 September 2014, the three-year-old disappeared while distinct images of the joyous, engaging toddler became etched into Australia’s memory.
And yet, despite a colossal investigation by police, coupled with media saturation and a public dogged to assist in his ongoing search, William’s fate still remains a mystery.
Now, as the inquest into his case continues, new information has emerged involving bestiality allegations involving a person of interest.
Inquest Hears Concerns Over Bestiality Allegations Associated with Convicted Paedophile
This week, it was reported that the inquest into William Tyrrell heard concerns raised over a convicted paedophile who resided near where the young boy was last seen and who is a person of interest in the suspected murder case.
Jodie and Peter Huntley, former neighbours of convicted paedophile Frank Abbott, 79, expressed to Taree Courthouse that they had suspicions over strange occurrences with their pet dog, accusing the paedophile of bestiality.
In 2015, Ms Huntley and her husband, Peter, used to live in a home at Logans Crossing in New South Wales, next door to which Mr Abbott used to dwell in a caravan.
The location is a 12-minute drive from where William Tyrrell went missing nearly six years ago.
Ms Huntley told the court how after the toddler’s vanishing, she regularly saw her chocolate brown Labrador retriever, Buddy, walking in and out of Mr Abbott’s caravan.
She suspected him of using bones to entice her dog and then engage in sexual acts.
“I actually asked Mr Abbott to stop at one stage and Buddy came home with things around his bottom and it gave me an indication about what he might be doing,” Ms Huntley said.
She told the court she had tried to request that he stop, but he persisted.
One day, she followed her dog to see what was going on.
Counsel Assisting Coroner Asks Ms Huntley What She Saw Happening Between Mr Abbott and Her Dog Buddy
Ms Huntley was asked by the counsel assisting the coroner, Gerard Craddock, whether she saw anything go on between Mr Abbott and Buddy when she went down to the caravan.
Ms Huntley replied saying, “Yes”.
Mr Craddock then asked her to detail what she saw.
“He had him on the bed with his legs and tail up … I don’t know whether he had his pants up or pants down … I just left,” she told the court.
Outside court, Ms Huntley expressed her feeling that Abbott was having sex with her dog.
Ms Huntley Tells Court that Even Before Dog Incident She Had “Funny Feeling”
The mother of two daughters also told the inquest that even before the dog incident, she had a “funny feeling” about Mr Abbott.
In particular, she expressed that she would often see him around the neighbourhood, and he would wave his walking stick in an attempt to get her to give her a lift.
Ms Huntley always refused.
On one occasion, Ms Huntley had to stop her car after he situated himself in the middle of the road.
“I pulled up beside him and locked the doors because my children were in the car – he asked if I could give him a lift and I said I was going in a different direction,” she said.
“He lifted the handles at the back of the car to get in but I had them locked.”
“I just didn’t want him in my car, I just didn’t want him around my children – I had a funny feeling and I just didn’t want any part of him.”
Ms Huntley and her husband are two of 38 witnesses expected to give evidence in the case of Willian Tyrrell.
Mr Abbott is serving a jail sentence for sex offences against three boys.
He watches court proceedings on CCTV from a cell at Cessnock prison.
Our common law in Australia defines bestiality as the sexual penetration of an animal.
This has long ago been defined in the common law case of R v Brown (1889) 24 QBD 357).
It is against the law and the penalties for an offence are significant, carrying a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail according to section 79 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
Section 80 outlines that it is an offence to even attempt to have sex with an animal. Any person who does so can be liable to a maximum penalty of 5-years in jail.
According to our Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) which governs the sentencing laws for NSW Courts, bestiality is considered a ‘prescribed sexual offence’. This means, that section 76(1)(b) of the Act says that an Intensive Correction Order (ICO) is unavailable for a court to impose on an offender for this offence.
For 24/7 advice, our Parramatta based criminal lawyers are available to provide a free consult on any area of criminal law.