The Truth About Daniel Morcombe's Killer Will Make The Nation Rethink Sex Offender Sentencing

Flowers at the roadside location where Daniel Morcombe was last seen in 2003. Photo Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Now that he has been found guilty, the sickening truth of Brett Peter Cowan’s life as a paedophile has been revealed by The Courier-Mail.

While the case was sub judice the jury and public were prevented from hearing the details of a lifetime of child sex attacks that leave no-one in doubt that police got the right man for the murder of Daniel Morcombe. He was found guilty of the 2003 murder and assault of the 13-year-old Sunshine Coast boy today by a jury in Brisbane’s Supreme Court.

Cowan, 44, was jailed twice previously for snatch and rape attacks on boys and his abuse began when he was aged just nine. He admitted to abusing up to 30 children while still a child himself.

He faced court in 1989 charged with sexually abusing a seven-year-old boy in a toilet block, after snatching him from a northern Brisbane playground when Cowan was aged 18.

He was sentenced to two years in prison but was released after 14 months.

He was jailed again in 1994 after raping a six-year-old boy in Darwin in 1993, then suffocating him and leaving him to die.

Miraculously, the child survived, despite police expecting otherwise. Cowan was sentenced to seven years in prison, but was released after just four years.

The convicted paedophile then moved back to Queensland.

Police have also detailed a history of violent sexual fantasies with Cowan’s former partners and approached him within two weeks of Daniel’s disappearance, because of his paedophile history.

Cowan’s career as a petty criminal began in his teens, despite saying he was not abused as a child. He grew up in Brisbane’s northern suburbs, the third of four sons to an army major, leaving school after year 10.

He had three children to two women, with his first child born in 2003, six months before Daniel Morcombe disappeared.

The fact that Cowan was twice released early following extremely violent sexual attacks on children is bound to rock the criminal legal system in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The full details of Cowan’s stomach-churning past can be found here, but be warned, it is deeply disturbing and unpleasant reading.

Stephanie Wood also has the details for Fairfax, including the fact that Cowan was described by the sentencing judge in Darwin as “pathological liar and a person who is prepared to steal even from his own parents”.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.