An elderly man living in the street William Tyrrell went missing from recalls hearing children playing the morning the three-year-old disappeared.
But Paul Savage was unable to tell the NSW Coroners Court on Thursday other minor details about the 90 minutes before the boy vanished from the mid-north coast town of Kendall in September 2014.
Mr Savage, who lived across the road from the house where William was playing, said he was sitting on his verandah with his toast and tea between 9am and 9.30am when he heard children playing.
Under questioning from counsel assisting the inquest, Gerard Craddock SC, the 75-year-old said he couldn’t say whether he heard the children the whole time he was outside.
Asked if his late wife, Heather, was with him, Mr Savage said: “I can’t say, I can’t remember.”
While he said she was likely with him and he’d have mentioned the children’s laughter to her, he couldn’t remember for sure.
“I would have mentioned it if she was there,” he told the inquest.
“I remember hearing the kids.”
Mr Savage’s phone records show he made a phone call to his brother in the hospital at Casino from 10am until 10.08am.
In a police video filmed in 2017 and shown to the inquest on Thursday, Mr Savage says he planned to make the four-hour drive to Casino to pick his brother up later that day and the call was likely in relation to that.
His wife left for bingo at 10.37am and within 15 minutes he was back inside making another round of tea and toast, Mr Savage said.
That’s when a neighbour knocked on his door and alerted him to William’s disappearance.
Mr Savage says he went across the road, spoke briefly with William’s foster grandmother and saw the foster father inside the home.
He said he couldn’t recall hearing anyone calling out William’s name.
The inquest continues.