Just hours ago, the Brisbane Supreme Court jury delivered its verdict in the Brett Peter Cowan trial, finding him guilty of murdering Daniel Morcombe in December 2003, as well as of interfering with his remains.
The verdict means that Daniel Morcombe’s killer has finally been brought to justice – given the fact that they had him confessing to the killing on tape and the information he provided resulted in the location of Daniel’s remains, the only real question could have been whether he killed Daniel intentionally or unintentionally. Given that Cowan’s confession indicated that he made a decision to kill Daniel, murder was the more likely conviction:
He said he spotted Daniel waiting for a bus, offered him a lift to the shops, drove him to an abandoned demountable building in the Glass House Mountains before attempting to molest him.
The boy panicked and resisted, Cowan panicked and then choked him to death. He dumped his body in bushland at an old sandmining site nearby.
An interesting story of the lengths and measures police went to in order to extract the confession and location information from Cowan:
His conviction comes after an extraordinary undercover police sting, unleashed on April 1, 2011. Cowan was cross-examined at a coronial inquest in Brisbane into Daniel’s death and that night, an undercover police officer was placed in the plane seat next to him back to Perth.
They struck up a conversation and over the next weeks and months, in Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne, dozens of undercover police were involved in tricking Cowan into believing they were members of a powerful criminal underworld gang.
He was slowly inducted into the gang, before being told he could only get a $100,000 slice of the gang’s next big ecstasy deal if he told ‘big boss’ Arnold the truth about his involvement in Daniel’s death.
On August 9, 2011, in a Perth hotel room, Cowan was caught on secret video finally admitting to abduction and murder.
The sentence is expected this afternoon.