News

Defence says Daniel Morcombe murder confession a fake

THE intimate details of how covert police officers created the illusion of a powerful organised crime gang to secure a "complete confession" from Daniel Morcombe's accused murderer will be unravelled over the next six weeks.

But details began trickling out as the Crown opened its case in Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday, revealing for the first time the careful planning police undertook to catch Brett Peter Cowan.

Crown prosecutor Michael Byrne said a team of covert officers carefully constructed 24 scenarios to convince Mr Cowan that his new friends were deeply entrenched in criminal activity.

Morcombe accused wanted to have "fun" with Daniel

Some scenarios enabled him to observe apparent criminal activity while others allowed him to get involved.

Every scenario reinforced how important "loyalty, respect and honesty" were to the gang.

"The overall object was that he believed he had to demonstrate his trustworthiness for the gang particularly in light of a big job that was coming up," Mr Byrne said.

Cowan knew if he could prove his mettle then he could be part of a "big job" that could net him $100,000.

Jury hears Daniel Morcombe's parents kept his belongings

Mr Byrne told the jury the confession came during a meeting with the "big boss" at a hotel in Perth.

"You will see (Mr Cowan) say - 'yeah ok no yeah I did it'," he said.

"I never got to molest him… he panicked, I panicked, I grabbed him around the throat and just before I knew it he was dead."

Mr Byrne said Mr Cowan took his new found friends to the Glasshouse Mountains to show them where he dumped the body.

Defence barrister Angus Edwards said the confession was fake, that Mr Cowan had a $100,000 windfall at stake and believed he could secure an alibi if he admitted he did it.

Mr Edwards said people made fake confessions in high-profile crimes often, pointed to another person of interest in the police case and suggested there were other ways Mr Cowan could have known where Daniel's remains were.

He asked the jury to pay attention to evidence relating to Douglas Jackway - who had been released from jail a month prior to Daniel's disappearance after serving eight years for snatching a young boy to rape him.

Jury instructed on murder conviction for Morcombe trial

Mr Edwards said Jackway had a blue car, which many witnesses would say they saw near Daniel about the time he disappeared, and he was supposed to be on the Sunshine Coast that day.

He said his client made repeated denials about his involvement until he realised he "would be dropped out of gang".

"That meant no $100,000 and no alibi. It's only after that that that he confessed," he said.

Topics:  brett peter cowan daniel morcombe editors picks murder trial



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