| 02.09,19. 04:25 PM |
William Tyrrell in Spider-Man suit photo to be probed by forensic investigators
An urgent examination of the last known photo of William Tyrrell, which shows him dressed in a Spider-Man suit, has been ordered by the NSW Coroner.
Court documents reveal an expert in photographic metadata has been called in after police conceded they weren't sure when the image was taken.
It is crucial investigators know the correct time the photo was taken as it provides proof of life for Tyrrell on the day of his disappearance.
Three-year-old Tyrrell went missing from his foster grandmother's home in Kendall on the New South Wales mid-north coast on the morning of September 12, 2014.
Created v corrected
The inquest into his likely abduction and death has previously been told a widely circulated image of Tyrrell dressed in a Spider-Man suit was taken on the verandah of the house at Benaroon Drive at 9.37am on the morning the boy vanished.
But according to a report in The Australian, a new document from the 2000-page brief of evidence reveals a "created time" for the image of 7.39am, and a “corrected time” of 9.37am.
The report says an expert in photographic metadata has now been called in after NSW police admitted to confusion about the image.
At the inquest on Thursday, deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame agreed to an application by Michelle Swift, counsel for Tyrrell's biological father, for further forensic testing of the image.
The application was made in open court before the inquest was adjourned for seven months.
The subject matter wasn’t revealed, however, Grahame responded to the application by saying the "important" matter needed investigation.
Counsel assisting the coroner, Gerard Craddock SC, agreed it was important and said they would be obtaining expert evidence to deal with the issue of the image.
"I've just been reminded there was going to be an application by Ms Swift today," Craddock told the NSW Coroner's court.
"We're not going to deal with that today, because we need to obtain some further evidence which will relate to that application," he said.
Her honour replied: "Yes. I think it's important that that's dealt with in detail, and we do need that further statement. It's important."
"I'm aware of what the application is. I think it's important we're pursuing it, and we'll come back to it," Grahame told the court.
Craddock responded, saying: "We're going to be obtaining some expert evidence that's going to deal with that issue, amongst other things."
Before being adjourned for seven months, the inquest into the disappearance of Tyrrell implored a mystery woman to come forward after a witness said he saw her driving away from the Kendall area with a small boy on the day the toddler vanished.
Woman driving car
Local resident Ronald Chapman says he saw a woman drive past his Laurel Street home on September 12, 2014, with a boy dressed in a Spider-Man suit in the back seat.
William was three years old and wearing a Spider-Man suit when he went missing from his foster grandmother's home that same day.
After Chapman gave evidence on Wednesday last week, the counsel assisting the coroner made a plea for additional information.
"If there is a lady out there who was driving a ... car with a child in the car, we do want that person to come forward," Craddock said.