The inquest into the death of toddler Joedan Andrews was suspended today after the coroner said there was enough evidence to lay charges.
NSW deputy state coroner Malcolm MacPherson stopped the inquest in Wentworth this morning after hearing that Colin Moore, the boyfriend of Joedan’s mother, allegedly made a confession to his mother, Jennifer Moore.
Ms Moore told the inquest she had visited her son at the Broken Hill Correctional Centre on Sunday and he told her the child’s death had been an accident.
Ms Moore told the inquest Colin said it was a weight off his shoulders that his brother, John, had publicly aired that the boy allegedly died in a car accident.
She said: “I said ‘How do you feel?’ and he said, ‘I feel a lot better’.
“He said it was a weight lifted off him … that it came out with John.”
Under questioning, Ms Moore agreed that Colin had told her there had been a terrible accident.
She said Colin told her he was driving in a car with Sarah and Joedan when the accident occurred.
“They were going a bit too fast and turned a corner and Joedan went out the window,” Ms Moore said.
“He wasn’t breathing and they panicked.”
She told the court Colin said they wrapped the child’s body and that Sarah and Colin then put the body in a couch.
Yesterday the inquest heard Joedan’s mother and Colin Moore had said the boy died when he went out of a car window in an accident.
John “Johnnyboy” Moore, younger brother of 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.
He 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 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”.
Moore is serving 15 months’ jail over a driving offence.
First published in The Age.