A dying man picked up his best mate and missing toddler William Tyrrell from behind a shed and drove them 300 kilometres, a court has heard.
The NSW inquest into the disappearance of the three-year-old has focused on Frank Abbott, a convicted paedophile and person of interest in William’s suspected abduction in September 2014.
Kirsten Okpegbue said she had helped treat Ray Porter at a NSW mid-north coast aged care facility when he made a confession about his knowledge of William’s disappearance.
Ms Okpegbue told the court in Taree on Tuesday that Mr Porter had claimed to have given a friend and William a lift and driven them north.
The court also heard that Mr Porter only had two friends that he spoke of – one of whom was known as “Frank.”
Ms Okpegbue said that in April last year, Mr Porter had told her at the Uniting Mingaletta facility in Port Macquarie that he had been in a car with William.
“When Ray was talking to you and had this strange conversation with you, did he say something about picking up his best friend with a cute little boy?” Gerard Craddock SC asked.
“Yes,” she replied.
“Did he say something about picking them up from behind a shed at Kendall School?” Mr Craddock asked.
She replied: “Yep … Ray said he had picked up his best mate at Kendall School. Behind the school was a shed. From there they drove 300km (north).”
Ms Okpegbue said Mr Porter, who died last year, was distressed following the conversation and had placed his head on her shoulder.
Earlier, the court heard that Abbott had bragged to local townspeople that he knew where William was buried.
Danny Parish told the court that Abbott was staying on the Parish family property at Herons Creek at the time William vanished from nearby Kendall.
He said Abbott had on several occasions claimed to have knowledge of William’s whereabouts and suggested that he had been buried by another local man Geoff Owens.
Mr Owens worked on the Benaroon Drive property from which William vanished.
Mr Craddock asked: “Did Frank Abbott say I know where William Tyrrell is, why don’t you check Geoff Owen’s place?”
Mr Parish replied: “He was telling everyone in Kew.”
He added that he had made the claim “many times”.
A day earlier, her brother Martin – a Baptist minister – had continually advocated for Abbott and claimed that he was innocent after he was charged with a sexual offence against a child.
Abbott was acquitted but he was subsequently convicted of abusing a child.
Abbott lived on the Parish family property in a caravan and would do handyman work for $10 an hour.
Mr Parish said he was fearful of Abbott after he had bragged that he had twice beaten a murder charge and that “I’d go to jail anytime” because he would get “three square meals a day”.
“I was scared of him from that day,” he said.