Missing boy William Tyrrell. Picture: AAP Image/NSW Police
Missing boy William Tyrrell. Picture: AAP Image/NSW Police

Club with ‘paedo’ link at Tyrrell inquest

THE secretary of a grandparents club said to harbour a convicted paedophile implicated in the William Tyrrell case will appear at the missing boy's inquest today.

Beverley Sharpe, who has worked as secretary of GAPA (Grandparents as Parents Again) on the NSW mid-north coast will appear before the inquest this morning.

After the NSW Police Strike Force led by then detective Gary Jubelin identified in 2015 the region around Kendall as a virtual hotbed of child sex offenders, GAPA came under scrutiny.

Convicted paedophile Anthony Jones, who is due to appear at the Tyrrell inquest, was claimed to be a GAPA member.

Jones was under the microscope of Strike Force Rosann in relation to the disappearance of William whose September 2014 abduction sparked one of the biggest manhunts in Australian history.

Police looked at an alleged paedophile ring operating in the NSW mid-north coast area.

Jones has numerous child sex offence convictions and has served time in prison on charges, but has denied any involvement in William's disappearance.

It is not suggested the GAPA group had any connection with the Tyrrell case.

In September 2015, a year after the toddler vanished without a trace from the town of Kendall, Ms Sharpe issued a GAPA newsletter disassociating the group from an unnamed person.

Describing a news reporter who had revealed GAPA's alleged connection with Mr Jones as "disgusting", Ms Sharpe said GAPA members "share the pain of the parents and grandparents of missing little William Tyrrell".

"We send them our sincere sympathy and hope he is with them soon," she wrote.

"Most people may be aware GAPA has been under extreme pressure by an overzealous journalist.

"He caused us grandparents, and our children, a lot of anxiety and stress and a great disservice to our grandparent group.

"The person of interest was not in our group."