Karen Kissane, Law and Justice Editor, Wentworth, NSW
THE mother of toddler Joedan Andrews and her boyfriend had said the boy died when he went out of a car window in an accident, an inquest heard yesterday.
John “Johnnyboy” Moore, younger brother of the boyfriend, Colin Moore, told the court: “Colin said to me, him and Sarah were driving the vehicle when they came to a corner in the mission. I believe they were driving pretty fast.
“As a result of turning the corner – the kid was on Sarah’s lap – the kid went out the window of the car. They said they went back. He said the kid wasn’t breathing and as a result of that they panicked.
“They went to the tip area where they hid the kid in a lounge chair.”
Lawyer Stephen Rushton, SC, asked whether Moore realised that Joedan was then aged two years and nine months: “Did Colin or Sarah communicate to you how they managed to fit his body into the lounge chair?”
“No,” said Moore.
Moore said he had been told this between Christmas 2002 and New Year, shortly after Joedan disappeared at an Aboriginal mission in Dareton, NSW. The child’s partial remains were found at a tip in January 2003 and police believe he was disposed of in pieces.
Moore told the court: “I said to both of them that they should have reported it.” Sarah Andrews told him repeatedly it had been an accident.
John Moore has previously been named at the inquest as someone who was seen helping Colin Moore carry a bundle wrapped in a shower curtain.
Yesterday he denied he had helped Colin Moore get rid of the child’s body. He denied claims by other witnesses that:
· He had found the child’s body, chewed by dogs, on a walk with his father near the tip.
· He had ever said: “We will go to the tip and move the little kid.”
· He had ever said that he had been in a car with Sarah Andrews, Joedan and Colin Moore when “Colin crashed his car into a tree and the kid was screaming”.
Mr Rushton asked him whether he thought it strange that police were not able to find any of Joedan’s remains in the tip for 21/2 weeks. “Is that because you and your brother were moving his body around?”
“No,” Moore said.
“Was your brother doing that with someone else?”
“Not to my knowledge.”
Moore said he had not reported the conversation about Joedan’s death even to his father because he was frightened of his brother. Nor did he report to police: “If charges had been laid and nothing had come of it, something would have come back to me, and I was in fear.”
Moore is serving 15 months jail over a driving offence.
The inquest continues.
First published in The Age.