Cowan Found Guilty

Brett Peter Cowan was yesterday found guilty of the murder of Daniel Morcombe. Mr Cowan was also found guilty of indecently dealing with Daniel and interfering with his corpse.

The six men and six women of the jury took seven-and-a-half hours to return their unanimous verdict, which was announced shortly after 1 pm on Thursday.

Justice Atkinson thanked the jury for their careful attention throughout the trial, describing them as a ‘truly magnificent jury’ prior to excusing them.

The four-and-a-half week trial involved 116 witnesses, including police officers, experts and SES personnel.

The court yesterday heard submissions from the prosecution and defence as to sentencing, as well as victim impact statements from the Morcombe family.

Justice Atkinson is scheduled to sentence Mr Cowan today.

Hearing Date Set for Murder Trial

It is anticipated that approximately 18 witnesses could be called at a pre-trial hearing of Brett Cowan, the man charged with the murder of Queensland school boy Daniel Morcombe.

The hearing is expected to begin on November 6, with the proceedings expected to last about a week.

Cowan Committed to Stand Trial

Daniel Morcombe’s accused murderer has been committed to stand trial in Queensland’s Supreme Court.

Mr Cowan will face the Supreme Court accused of child stealing, deprivation of liberty, indecently dealing with a child, murder and interfering with a corpse.

Cowan did not apply for bail at the end of proceedings in Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Cowan’s lawyer Michael Bosscher said he could concede there was a prima facie case but could not consent to it being sent to trial.

Outside court, Mr Bosscher said he would discuss with his client whether they would make an alibi claim within the 14 days allocated.

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Morcombe Committal Hearing continues

The Committal Hearing into the abduction and murder of Daniel Morcombe continued in the Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday where eight police officers gave evidence. Six of those were in a closed court room.

Of the evidence given, an undercover police officer told the Court that in a recorded conversation taken on the 9 August 2011, the accused Brett Cowan described how he offered Daniel a lift on 7 December 2003 and how he took him to a house on a remote road in Beerwah. The Court heard that Cowen told the undercover police officer that he had tried to molest Daniel, but Daniel struggled and tried to get away. It is alleged in the recording that Cowan claims to have panicked and grabbed Daniel around the throat and killed him.

Sandra Drummond, an alibi witness for Brett Cowan told the Court that she was friends with the accused, however could not recall where she was on 7 December 2003. Ms Drummond gave five statements to police officers between September 2006 and August 2011 in an attempt to establish her whereabouts.

Ms Drummond claims to have told police that her grandson’s birthday was the 8 December and she recalled a party taking place at McDonalds; however she could not remember which weekend the party occurred on. She further claimed to regularly attend upon the Nambour RSL on Sundays.

Mr Meehan, defence attorney for Cowan told the Court that three statements explored whether Ms Drummond did not see Cowan on 7 December 2003 and they were, whether she attended her grandson’s birthday party and therefore whether she would have been at home to see the accused on that day, and whether she was at the RSL club and whether her membership card had been used at the RSL.

Day Three in Morcombe Matter

Day three of the Daniel Morcombe committal hearing continued in Brisbane today, whereby Defence counsel Michael Bosscher continued to cross examine forensic podiatrist, Dr Paul Bennett.

Dr Bennett had been asked to determine whether the sneakers found at the search site on August 17 and 20 last year belonged to Daniel Morcombe.

In doing so, he said he examined the rotation marks and wear patterns on the shoes and compared them to other shoes that belonged to Daniel Morcombe.

In cross examination Mr Bosscher zoned in of the fact that there was no database in Australia to which Dr Bennett could compare the likelihood of the same rotation marks and wear patterns appearing within the general population. Mr Bosscher pointed out that given this, Dr Bennett could not identify if the marks were in fact unique or even what percentage of the population had those same rotation and wear patterns.

Court has adjourned to Thursday 9am.

For full coverage of the story go here

Day One in Morcombe Matter

The committal hearing for the man accused of abducting and murdering Queensland teenager Daniel Morcombe almost 9 years ago has begun in Brisbane today. Brett Peter Cowan appeared before the Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with the 13 year old’s murder and five of other charges, including indecent treatment of a child.

The Court heard today that Brett Peter Cowan allegedly abducted Daniel Morcombe, taking him south to the Glasshouse Mountains. It is alleged that it is here that he unlawfully and indecently dealt with him, and then murdered him. Brett Cowan is also further charged with interfering with human remains on Christmas Day, nearly three weeks after the alleged crime took place.

It was also further revealed today that a dive squad found a pair of underpants, a belt, surf shorts and other fabric at the bottom of a creek on the search site. Police Inspector Arthur Van Panhuis, told the court the clothing was found in a different area to the earlier bone fragments that were located at the site.

Michael Bosscher, Brett Cowans lawyer told the court today that it didn’t seem any of the remains were near the site the police had indicated. He said “the remains seem to be following the progression north, going away from the primary search site. It’s another item that moves away from an explanation that the bones could have been removed naturally from that site.”

The committal hearing is expected to run for two weeks before Christmas and begin again next year.

Morcombe Hearing in November

In the case of Brett Cowan, the man alleged to have committed the murder of Daniel Morcombe, Bosscher Lawyers, Michael Bosscher has had the matter set down for committal hearing in November. A further two weeks of evidence will be sought early next year to compel 20 witnesses, who had been hypnotised or undergone regression therapy in the hope of triggering their memories, to attend court to answer questions.

Solicitors Michael Bosscher further claims that there were considerable discrepancies between police statements and evidence tendered during the 2010 inquest into Morcombe’s disappearance.

Morcombe Case Grinds Slowly

Parents of Daniel Morcombe have expressed concern that the trial of their son’s alleged murderer, Brett Peter Cowan, may not be for at least another three years.

Last year, Cowan, was charged with Daniel Morcombe’s abduction and murder.

criminal lawyer Tim Meehan, of Bosscher Lawyers, said he expected his client’s case to reach a committal hearing by early next year.

“There’s just such a significant amount of material, which is why there are delays after an eight-year investigation,” he said.

“It’s a fine balancing act between having the matter proceed in a timely fashion and doing justice to my client, whose liberty is on the line.

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