The foster mum – who can’t be named for legal reasons – on Thursday alleged Superintendent Scott Cook told her during a 2019 inquest that “William is not our only case” and “you are not the only family that are victims of crime”.
“I’m thinking, I can’t believe you are saying this to us, at the inquest for this little boy,” she told Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court.
She says it was the first time the grieving family had met Supt Cook.
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The foster mother was in court as a defence witness for former lead investigator Gary Jubelin, who is accused of illegally recording an elderly neighbour in Kendall, on NSW’s mid-north coast, where William disappeared in 2014.
Mr Jubelin on Wednesday told the court Supt Cook told him: “No one cares about that little kid – get him off the books and get him to unsolved homicide.”
William’s foster mother also backed up Mr Jubelin’s claims there had been no handover of the case, saying the new leader of the investigation told her she wasn’t allowed to speak to Jubelin.
“I’m angry,” she said before leaving the witness stand in tears.
Outside court on Thursday, the mother of the late Matthew Leveson – whose case was also overseen by Mr Jubelin – said Supt Cook’s alleged comments were “despicable”.
“(I’m) shocked, horrified, to think that somebody who was the head of homicide would say that to a grieving mother,” Faye Leveson told reporters. “I would have been devastated.” Police Commissioner Mick Fuller on Wednesday issued a statement saying he had “full confidence in the professionalism” of Supt Cook.
He “exemplified the definition of a leader” during his time as homicide squad commander, Mr Fuller said.
The revelations followed the cross-examination of Mr Jubelin by the Crown, which alleged he’d made the comments up as a means of advancing his own case.
Prosecutor Philip Hogan accused Mr Jubelin of lying about Supt Cook’s comments.
“Just like you’re lying about believing that you made these recordings to protect a lawful interest, in order to avoid responsibility for your own illegal behaviour,” he said.
Mr Hogan said Mr Jubelin intentionally asked person of interest Paul Savage questions that “crossed the line” and “belittled, bullied and intimidated” him during the four recordings.
Mr Jubelin – who quit the force in 2019 – agreed he asked “difficult” questions and put pressure on Mr Savage.
He also agreed he continued speaking to the elderly man even after Mr Savage told him he had been instructed not to speak to police without a solicitor.
But the homicide squad veteran denied the interviews were improper or put Mr Savage’s welfare at risk.
“With the benefit of hindsight, I approached the conversations (that way) and Mr Savage is still with us.”
Mr Jubelin says he made the recordings of Mr Savage to protect himself in the event the one-time person of interest lodged a complaint or harmed himself.
Mr Savage, 75, denies any involvement in the three-year-old’s disappearance.