William Tyrrell’s foster family has blasted the “personal agendas” of police behind the prosecution of former detective Gary Jubelin, saying the investigation into the boy’s disappearance has been “cavalier” following his removal.
Jubelin is defending four charges of illegally recording elderly neighbour Paul Savage during an investigation into the 2014 disappearance of the three-year-old from the NSW mid-north coast.
Savage, 75, denies any involvement in William’s disappearance. An officer no longer working on the investigation has said that based on her limited knowledge Savage is no longer a person of interest.
Outside court on Friday, a spokeswoman for the family detailed their “grave concerns” over the investigation’s mismanagement since Jubelin was stood down in 2019.
“We hold deep fears for those families coming behind us and question how they might trust senior police to put their personal agendas, ambitions and bias aside to focus on solving these horrendous crimes,” Alice Collins said.
“There needs to be greater transparency and accountability within NSW Police which can only be achieved through institutional change.”
The comments follow a 10-day hearing into Jubelin’s alleged offending which aired a number of difficulties and internal tensions during the investigation.
Jubelin claimed in court that then-homicide commander Superintendent Scott Cook in 2017 had said “no one cares” about William.
The boy’s foster mother said Cook made similar remarks to her in 2019.
Cook denies the accusation and Commissioner Mick Fuller this week released a statement supporting him as “exemplifying the definition of a leader”.
Jubelin claims the recordings he made were lawful as they were made to protect himself in the event Savage made a complaint or self-harmed and his colleagues did not defend him.
Jubelin’s barrister, Margaret Cunneen SC, used her closing address on Friday to argue statements Savage made during the proceedings – which contradicted the tapes of the conversations – and testimonies from former colleagues with an “axe to grind” were evidence of the interest Jubelin had in making the recordings.
Jubelin had proved himself an honest man and Savage’s privacy had already been taken away by the NSW supreme court through surveillance warrants, Cunneen said.
“This is the prosecution of a fine servant of our state over many, many years with many successes on his record,” she told Downing Centre local court.
She said the prosecution of Jubelin was an extraordinary attack on “a veteran homicide investigator with a totally unblemished record as a police officer who, if he has committed an offence, has done so in the dogged and determined and professional exercise of his duty”.