Brett Peter Cowan, 44, is on trial in Brisbane’s Supreme Court for the murder and assault of 13-year-old of Daniel Morcombe, who went missing on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in 2003.
Cowan has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, indecently dealing with a child and interfering with his corpse on December 7, 2003, despite undercover police recording an alleged confession.
In his opening submission at the six-week jury trial, Crown prosecutor Michael Byrne, QC, said it was likely the teenage schoolboy died within an hour of being taken just after 2pm that Sunday.
His remains were discovered in 2011 following a sting by undercover police posing as a criminal gang.
Fairfax’s Brisbane Times details how an undercover officer befriended Cowan on a flight to Perth, where he now lives, after he’d been in Brisbane to appear at a coronial inquest into Morcambe’s disappearance.
Over the next few months, Cowan met more undercover officers posing as a criminal gang that could fix things and make problems disappear.
After a slow induction into the gang, lasting several months, Cowan allegedly confessed to Daniel Morcombe’s murder to the gang leader, “Arnold”, then flew to Brisbane to show Arnold the murder scene, where the sting operation ended with Cowan’s arrest.
A subsequent search of the area led to the discovery of Daniel Morcambe’s remains.
Defence barrister Angus Edwards submitted that Cowan gave a false confession and suggested that another man, a child rapist recently released from prison, was responsible for Morcambe’s death.
Brisbane’s Courier Mail is live blogging the details of the court case here.
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