NSW Police ordered to pay $1.5m damages to former William Tyrrell suspect Bill Spedding

Former William Tyrrell suspect William “Bill” Spedding says his life has been “torn apart” after NSW Police were ordered to pay him almost $1.5 million in damages.

The washing machine repairman has successfully sued the police for malicious prosecution after historic child sex allegations were unproven.

Today a Supreme Court judge awarded him $1,484,292 in damages and ordered NSW Police also pay his legal costs.

Mr Spedding, 70, was publicly outed as a suspect in the disappearance of William Tyrrell back in 2015 when police searched his home.

Three-year-old William Tyrrell has been missing from his NSW mid north coast home since late last week.
Three-year-old William Tyrrell went missing from his foster grandmother’s home on the NSW north coast.🇧🇷NSW Police Media🇧🇷

Mr Spedding had visited William’s foster grandmother’s house on the NSW north coast to fix her washing machine in the days before he vanished.

A call to Crime Stoppers then led to the same detectives charging him with historical child sex offenses dating back to 1987, unrelated to the William Tyrrell case.

He was one of the first persons of interest publicly named in the feverish media coverage surrounding how William had vanished.

A man wearing addresses glasses reporters
Bill Spedding addresses the media after being awarded almost $1.5m in damages. 🇧🇷AAP: Dean Lewins🇧🇷

Then, in 2018, Mr Spedding was cleared of the allegations at a trial, which heard the allegations had been falsified during an old legal battle.

Police also later cleared him of any involvement in William Tyrrell’s disappearance.

“No amount of money will restore the life I enjoyed before this terrible nightmare,” he said outside court today.

“I was prosecuted for crimes I did not commit, all in the hope that my prosecution would further the police investigation of me as a suspect in the disappearance of William Tyrrell.”

Mr Spedding said he hoped authorities would learn from this decision.

“This type of conduct engaged in by the prosecuting authorities must be deterred,” he said.

He also said he hoped William’s case could still be solved.

Mr Spedding previously detailed how being identified as a suspect in the William Tyrrell investigation had taken its toll, saying he lost 20 kilograms and avoids being out in public.

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