The NSW Attorney General is awaiting advice on whether to take the case of murdered toddler Cheryl Grimmer back to court.
A man was set to face trial in May over the three-year-old’s disappearance in 1970 but the murder charge was dropped when a Supreme Court judge ruled an interview – in which the then-juvenile confessed to murder – was inadmissible.
Without that key evidence, the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped the case and this week decided against appealing the interview ruling.
But on Friday, Attorney General Mark Speakman said he’d asked for advice from one of his senior legal advisers over the DPP’s latest decision.
“I recognise the deep hurt felt by Cheryl’s family as a result of the decision which I’m assured was taken after careful consideration of the judgment by the DPP,” he said in a statement.
“I have nevertheless requested my own independent advice from the Crown Advocate Dr David Kell.”
Cheryl vanished from outside a shower block while with her mother and three older brothers at Fairy Meadow Beach in Wollongong on January 12 in 1970.
Her former accused killer, who cannot be named as he was 15 when Cheryl disappeared, was interviewed in 1971 by police.
Justice Robert Allan Hulme in February said no parent, adult or legal practitioner was present at any stage of the interview and it raised issues about how the boy was cautioned of his rights.
In 1971, there was no requirement for an adult support person to accompany children in police interviews.
The former accused was arrested in Victoria in March 2017 and pleaded not guilty in September 2018 to murdering the three-year-old.