Cheryl and John Grimmer
Cheryl Grimmer with her father in this file photo New South Wales Police

An Australian court, which is hearing the bail plea of a man accused of killing Cheryl Grimmer, has been told that the accused had given evidence to police about her possible resting place nearly 50 years ago, but investigators had ignored his claims.

The 63-year-old man, who cannot be named under local law because he was a minor at the time of the murder, is accused of abducting and killing three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer. The Grimmer family was at Fairy Meadow beach in Wollongong on the afternoon of 12 January 1970 when Cheryl vanished.

She had been sent to shelter at a shower block with her brothers, then aged seven, five and four. Cheryl was in the girls' changing room and never came out.

The suspect was arrested in the Melbourne suburb of Frankston in March 2017 and charged with her abduction and murder.

On Wednesday, 24 May, police told the court that some 46 years ago in 1971, the man – originally from Britain – had confessed to his crime and had also taken them to the place where he allegedly killed Cheryl.

Police initially ignored his information, considering it as inaccurate. His claims are now backed up by other evidence, and investigators believe that the man's initial confession about the toddler's resting place was actually accurate, ABC reported.

Defence lawyer Laura Fennell has applied for a bail on his behalf, while the prosecution has opposed the plea on basis of the new information. Fennell has also questioned the admissibility of evidence, saying it was given by a minor who had been suffering mental health issues.

However, her arguments have been rejected by the court as it believed that the prosecutions' case against the man was indeed strong.

The court has also said that the accused was a British citizen and said it was concerned he could be a flight risk.

The man has not yet formally entered a plea, the BBC reported.