A senior detective has told a court he believes the former foster mother of missing New South Wales boy William Tyrrell knows where he is.

The woman appeared in court on Thursday, accused of lying to the NSW Crime Commission.

She cannot be named for legal reasons, but is the former foster mother of the missing boy.

The charges do not relate to William, who was aged three when he went missing from a home at Kendall on the NSW mid-north coast in 2014.

The woman is accused of lying to the commission about whether she ever struck another child in her care with a wooden spoon.

“I have formed the view [she] knows where William Tyrrell is,” Det Sgt Andrew Lonergan told Downing Centre local court.

Barrister John Stratton SC, representing the woman, said that was a false belief.

Police charged her for allegedly lying, in an attempt to pressure her, he told the court.

“You are hoping to break her spirit,” Stratton said.

“Our main objective is to find out where William Tyrrell is,” Lonergan said.

Audio recording from listening devices placed in the home recorded what police allege is the woman hitting a child with a wooden spoon.

The child can be heard threatening to call the police beforehand.

A woman is then heard telling the child to “stand up” three times.

The court heard a woman on the recording say: “Where’d you put the wooden spoon?”

The child then pleads, screams and cries, and is told to turn around and move her hands before smacking sounds are heard.

In a later phone call intercepted by police, the woman is heard telling her husband: “She’s still going on about it.”

The hearing continues.

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