The jury in the trial of Daniel Morcombe’s alleged killer have been told to focus on his “compelling” confession instead of claims others were involved.
Jurors should convict Daniel Morcombe’s accused killer because his confessions are so compelling they leave no doubt about his guilt, prosecutors say.
Brett Peter Cowan, 44, is on trial for the murder of the Sunshine Coast schoolboy who vanished from a Sunshine Coast roadside on December 7, 2003.
In summing up on Monday, Crown Prosecutor Michael Byrne QC urged jurors to find Cowan guilty because he’d repeatedly confessed to the crime and knew where Daniel’s remains and clothing had been dumped.
“Stop and think for one moment about the magnitude of confession to the killing and sexual molestation of a young boy,” he told jurors.
It was something you would be unlikely to confess to unless what you were saying was true, Mr Byrne said.
Cowan has pleaded not guilty to murder, indecent treatment of a child and interfering with a corpse.
His trial is drawing to a close after four weeks of evidence, including a secretly recorded conversation in which he admitted to snapping Daniel’s neck during a bid to molest him at an isolated property on the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Brisbane’s Supreme Court has also heard how convicted pedophile Douglas Jackway was released from prison one month before Daniel went missing while waiting at an unofficial bus stop under the Kiel Mountain Road overpass.
Jackway owned a blue 1980s model Commodore and had planned to stay with his sister on the Sunshine Coast on the night of December 7, 2003 for a court appearance the following day.
Many witnesses said they saw a blue sedan near the underpass around the time Daniel disappeared.
But Mr Byrne on Monday urged jurors to dismiss suggestions Jackway was involved in the teen’s murder.
He says while Cowan’s confessions are powerful, there is no evidence which puts Jackway at the scene of Daniel’s disappearance.
Furthermore the registration on Jackway’s blue car didn’t match up with partial registration details given by witnesses at the trial, he said.
“Don’t be distracted by the blue car, don’t be distracted by Jackway’s blue car either,” he told jurors.
Mr Byrne added Jackway’s criminal history may have meant he was a “cheap target” for suggestions of involvement in Daniel’s abduction and murder.
“Douglas Jackway has been convicted of horrendous crimes,” he said.
“(But) there is simply nothing in the evidence … that puts him on the Sunshine Coast on 7 December 2003.”
But Cowan’s defence barrister Angus Edwards says Jackway has repeatedly lied to police about his whereabouts on the day Daniel disappeared.
Mr Edwards said Jackway’s brazen abduction of a boy in 1995 had striking similarities to the Morcombe case.
In opening his closing address on Monday, Mr Edwards urged jurors not to be overwhelmed by Cowan’s confessions and to assess all the evidence before them.
This included a mountain of evidence about Jackway and a blue car, he said.
He also said shoes purportedly belonging to Daniel were found in the bush, rather than in a creek where Cowan said he had dumped them.
Mr Edwards also told jurors Cowan had falsely confessed because he thought he stood to make hundreds of thousands of dollars as he thought the undercover police officers to whom he confessed were members of a powerful criminal gang.
Mr Edwards will continue his closing address on Tuesday.