Alleged paedophile Spedding to face court next year

Bill Spedding at the time of his arrest last year.
Bill Spedding at the time of his arrest last year.

An alleged paedophile previously identified as a person of interest in the disappearance of toddler William Tyrrell will face a Ballarat court again next year.

Alleged paedophile William "Bill" Spedding is facing a string of historic child sexual abuse charges dating back more than 30 years in Ballarat. 

Spedding was due in the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Thursday for a committal mention, but a solicitor appearing on his behalf requested today's matter be heard in his absence for a second time.

The lawyer told the court Spedding lived 400km north of Sydney and current bail conditions on separate alleged child sexual offences in NSW restricted him from leaving the state.

She requested the committal mention be adjourned until after March 16 next year to allow Spedding's NSW matters to be dealt with.

Magistrate Mark Stratmann adjourned the committal mention until March 30 next year, but told the lawyer this was the last time he will be excused from attending court.

The new offences are alleged to have occurred in Clarendon near Ballarat and other locations across regional Victoria.

Court documents show Victorian police had charged Spedding with multiple child sexual abuse offences, including various counts of indecent assault and sexual intercourse with children between 1983 and 1985.

During a file hearing earlier this year Spedding’s legal representative previously had a request to suppress the court proceedings from the public thrown out.

The court also previously heard some of the Victorian charges mirror those Spedding faces in NSW and involved one of the same complainants.

His lawyer argued identifying Spedding in media reports posed a "real and substantial risk" of prejudicing the proper administration of justice for the other charges he was facing.

He is due to appear in a New South Wales court next year.

An information poster on William Tyrell

An information poster on William Tyrell