United Kingdom

William Tyrrell cop Gary Jubelin loses appeal against criminal convictions

The former head of the William Tyrrell investigation, Gary Jubelin, has lost an appeal against criminal convictions for illegally recording conversations with a person of interest in the case. 

But the ex-detective on Friday said he couldn't live with himself if he hadn't 'gone hard' in the search for the missing toddler.

Jubelin said outside Parramatta District Court court that he was 'disappointed' with the result but urged for investigations into the child's 2014 disappearance to continue. 

'The court says that I went too hard to find out what happened to William Tyrrell ... (but) I couldn't live with myself if I did anything less,' Jubelin said. 

Gary Jubelin (above, on Friday) showed 'no remorse' for illegally recording a one-time person of interest in the William Tyrrell investigation, a District Court judge said 

William Tyrrell (left) vanished from his foster grandmother's home in Kendall on September 12, 2014, aged three and has never been found. Jubelin illegally recorded Paul Savage (right), a one-time person of interest in the investigation who has consistently denied any role in the boy's disappearance

'I stand by what I did. Obviously I'm disappointed, but I'll leave it at that.

'Sadly, we still don't know what happened to William Tyrrell.'

Tyrrell's disappearance is one of Australia's most enduring investigations into a missing child. 

The three-year-old, dressed in a Spiderman suit, vanished from his foster grandmother's home on the NSW mid-north coast on September 12, 2014.

'I do not accept... that (Jubelin) recorded the conversations to protect his lawful interests 

Judge Anthony Townsend 

Jubelin was the head of Strike Force Rosann, the dedicated unit for finding the missing boy, for most of its existence.

The NSW detective resigned from the police force last year after allegations of misconduct had him removed from the Tyrrell case in March.

Following a 10-day hearing this year, Jubelin was found guilty in April of illegally recording four conversations with Paul Savage in 2017 and 2018, and fined $10,000.

Mr Savage had lived on the same NSW mid-north coast street as then-three-year-old William when he went missing in September 2014. 

He became a person of interest in the case but has consistently denied any role in the boy's kidnapping, and nor is he a current focus of the police investigation.

Jubelin's lawyer Margaret Cunneen SC told the District Court the veteran cop did not breach the elderly man's privacy during the first three phone recordings, because the NSW Supreme Court had already issued warrants that allowed police to install listening devices in his home.

The fourth tape was made in December 2018 when Mr Savage invited Jubelin into his home after the warrants had expired.

But the Crown argued that acquitting the high-profile former detective could entitle every police officer to bypass the law around listening devices.

A visibly disappointed Jubelin was flanked by supporters outside the Parramatta District Court today after losing his appeal

Jubelin supporters Mark and Faye Leveson - the parents of the late Matthew Leveson - attended court in western Sydney on Friday

John Bowers, representing the Crown, said the recordings were part of an ongoing investigation and were made for operational reasons.

'In those circumstances, there's no room for him to rely on the defence that he had to make them because it was reasonably necessary to protect his personal lawful interests,' Bowers told the District Court in August.

Judge Antony Townsden today dismissed Jubelin's appeal.

'In a democratic society, those placed in a position of authority have an obligation to exercise their power lawfully,' Judge Townsden told the court.

'This, the appellant failed to do.'

The judge also said the offender, despite showing prior good character, had shown 'no remorse' and maintained his innocence throughout the proceeding.

'I do not accept... that (Jubelin) recorded the conversations to protect his lawful interests,' he said.

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