Daniel Morcombe: not forgotten

Brett Peter Cowan has been found guilty of the December 2003 murder of 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe.

The jury verdict was delivered at lunchtime today, 24 hours after the six men and six women panel retired to consider their decision on Wednesday following a five-week trial in which 116 witnesses gave evidence in Brisbane’s Supreme Court.

The deliberations took 7.5 hours.

Brett Peter Cowan pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, indecently dealing with a child under the age of 16 and improperly dealing with a corpse.

He was convicted of all three charges.

Daniel Morcombe was waiting for a bus at Woombye on 7 December, 2003, when he disappeared. His body was found in bushland on on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in August 2011, following an police undercover sting that led to Cowan’s arrest.

The prosecution case centred around video and audio recordings in which Cowan confessed to killing the boy.

The alleged confession was made to undercover officers who pretended to be members of a criminal gang and befriended Cowan in the lead up to his admission.

The defence team argued that the confession was fabricated and made in an attempt by Cowan to ingratiate himself with the gang. They also suggested another sex offender, recently released from prison, was responsible, with witnesses testifying that man was allegedly seen in the vicinity of where Daniel disappeared.

Justice Roslyn Atkinson will sentence Cowan later today.

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