How could any parent listen to this? The trial of Daniel Morcombe's accused killer.

Daniel Morcombe was thirteen when he went missing

WARNING: This post contains details of child abuse that may be distressing for some readers. 


Can any parent imagine the torment that Denise and Bruce Morcombe have faced over the past two days?

Listening to the man they believe murdered their son sit in a courtroom and plead ‘not guilty.’

Seeing the man they believe kidnapped and tried to molest their thirteen-year old shake his head at the evidence.

Being in the same room as – hell, breathing the same air as- the man they believe took Daniel Morcombe and killed him ‘within an hour’.

How could any mother or father withstand that?

And yet with the same dignity and resolve that they have maintained for more than a decade they have fronted the Brisbane Supreme Court for the past two days and will continue to do so for the next six weeks – hoping to see justice for their son.

Bruce and Denise Morcombe arrive at the Supreme Court

Brett Peter Cowan is accused of killing 13-year-old Daniel after he went missing waiting for a bus whilst on his way to go Christmas shopping in December 2003

Cowan is accused of murdering Daniel after trying to molest him, indecently dealing with a child and interfering with his corpse.

He has pleaded not guilty.

In court yesterday Crown Prosecutor Michael Byrne QC detailed to the jury an elaborate police sting which ultimately produced an alleged confession from Cowan.


Cowan, who now calls himself Shaddo N-Unyah Hunter was targeted by an undercover officer who was deliberately seated next to him on a flight back from Perth after he testified at a coronial inquest into Daniel’s dissaperance.

The officer was named ‘Joe’.

Cowan believed that Joe was a part of an elaborate criminal gang.

The Courier Mail report that “Cowan was introduced into an organised gang, and lived by the gang’s mantras: loyalty, respect and honesty.”

Cowan was tricked into thinking the gang had access to West Australian crooked police.

Over several months the gang tested Cowan – giving him small criminal acts to perform.

They were leading him up to one big job they told him.

All he had to do was meet the crime boss, and show he lived within the mantra.

‘Loyalty, respect and honesty”.

Daniel Morcombe tried to flag down one bus – the driver indicated another would be following

The Crown allege that he was to meet the big boss named ‘Arnold’ but he had to provide a confession – they knew he was a suspect in the case of the missing thirteen year old.

According to the evidence presented by the prosecution Arnold told Cowan he could ‘help him’ in relation to the murder of Daniel.

The ABC report that:

“The court heard that Cowan told Arnold that as he drove to Nambour, he noticed Daniel at the bus stop, and parked his car and offered the boy a lift.


Daniel was then driven to a secluded spot near Beerwah, half an hour away, and was taken into a house.

The prosecution, quoting from a secretly recorded conversation, said Cowan admitted he had planned to molest Daniel.”

“I never got to molest him or anything like that, he panicked and I panicked and I grabbed him around the throat and before I knew it, he was dead,’’ Cowan allegedly told Arnold.

The jury also heard that Cowan reportedly said Daniel would still be alive if he had not tried to run.

“I was starting to pull his pants down and he said ‘Oh no’ and he started to struggle.” report The Courier Mail.

Cowan then allegedly showed the ‘crime gang’ the creek where he disposed of Daniel’s clothes.

Daniel Morcombe’s remains were found in 2011.

The defence lawyer, Angus Edwards told the court the confession does not mean anything.

From the ABC:

“He pointed out the undercover police had promised the defendant $100,000 for a “big job” if he could prove he was part of the gang, and Cowan might have lied about the crime to cash in on that.

“You might be surprised to hear that people have been known to falsely confess a crime like this,” Mr Edwards told the court.

“I’m sure you might be surprised to hear that people have been known to confess to high-profile murders; this case is no different.”

The first witnesses were then called to the stand – Denise and Bruce Morcombe.

Bruce and Denise Morcombe gave evidence yesterday

Daniel’s Dad said that he had not heard from his son in any way, shape or form since the day he disappeared.

A harrowing day in court – but just the beginning of the search for the truth for two parents who have fought so long to find it.

The case continues today.