AFTER four weeks, 116 witnesses and 218 exhibits, Crown prosecutors have closed their murder case against Brett Peter Cowan.

After being called upon, Mr Cowan's legal team told the court he will "neither give evidence nor call evidence".
He does not have to and the jury cannot draw any inference from his decision if he chooses not to.

The final prosecution witness was Detective Senior Sergeant Stephen Blanchfield from Queensland's homicide investigation unit.

As both the prosecution and defence tied up a number of loose ends from the trial, Snr Sgt Blanchfield answered a range of questions related to the investigation, inquest, arrest and false confessions.

He said information about what Daniel was wearing the day he disappeared, the alleged abduction site and what he was planning to do when he got to the Sunshine Plaza was already in the public arena when Mr Cowan made his confession.

Snr Sgt Blanchfield told Brisbane Supreme Court that Ray Davy and Edward Kneebone had also made false confessions, the latter pleading guilty to perjury after the inquest.

He said there had been searches conducted at the Pinkenba boat ramp after Kneebone's confession and in the Glasshouse Mountains after Davy's admissions but nothing of interest was found.

Snr Sgt Blanchfield said there was a $250,000 Queensland Government reward offered for any information relating to the arrest  of Daniel's killer and another $750,000 added for six months from a consortium of people.

He said Mr Cowan refused to answer any police questions when he was arrested at Glasshouse Mountains about 11.15am on August 13, 2011.

Snr Sgt Blanchfield  said Les McLean, who emphatically denied any suggestions he told Mr Cowan where Daniel's remains were, tried to call three times during the journey back to Brisbane.

He said they let Mr Cowan have a cigarette in the basement car park of police headquarters in Brisabne and saw him lean against a wall with his foot up in an L-shape.

The court has heard evidence from witnesses who saw a man at the Kiel Mountain Road overpass in a similar stance.

Snr Sgt Blanchfield said the men some witnesses identified in photo boards were similar to the man they saw at the alleged abduction site could be accounted for - one was in Wolston Correctional Centre and another was living in Townsville and had never been to the Sunshine Coast.

He said a blue car some witnesses saw on the news that had been abandoned at the Brisbane Transit Centre belonged to a female who had left her partner and returned to Victoria without telling him where she left the car.

Snr Sgt Blanchfield said satellite photos showed a demountable house at the Glasshouse Mountains site where Daniel allegedly died was still present in July, 2010, but was gone in May, 2011.

He said he was involved in a 2009 interview with convicted child rapist Douglas Jackway, who the defence say has a five and a half hour window that could not be accounted for the day Daniel went missing.

Under cross-examination, Snr Sgt Blanchfield said he put to Jackway that he had lied in a previous version to police and Jackway agreed.

Snr Sgt Blanchfield said he timed the drive from the overpass on the Nambour Connection Road to Jackway's address at Goodna and it was one hour and 24 minutes driving at or below the speed limit.

He said there were no other reports or complaints about abduction or violence to children on the Nambour Connection Road on December 7, 2003.

The jury was sent home until Monday when Crown prosecutors will begin giving a closing address to the jury.

Mr Cowan's defence team will then make their closing submissions before Justice Ros Atkinson summarises the case to the jury and outlines their role.

She told the jury they should not make any plans next Friday in case their deliberations continue all week.

 

129413a4 22/03/04 Replica of Daniel Morcombes fobwatch Photo: Nicholas Falconer / Sunshine Coast Daily
129413a4 22/03/04 Replica of Daniel Morcombes fobwatch Photo: Nicholas Falconer / Sunshine Coast Daily Nicholas Falconer

Gang members arrested as part of Daniel Morcombe 'sting'

THE "gang" members sent to help Brett Peter Cowan "clean up" any mess from allegedly killing Daniel Morcombe were arrested at the same time to keep up pretenses.

Paul "Fitzy" Fitzsimmons told Brisbane Supreme Court that he and Ian picked up Mr Cowan from a hotel in Brisbane and then drove back to the Glasshouse Mountains on August 13, 2011.

Fitzy said they told Mr Cowan they needed to find the fob watch Daniel had with him the day he disappeared before they could return to Perth.

He said once they arrived at the Kings Road site where Daniel's remains were later found, detectives came out from the bush and behind wood piles to arrest Mr Cowan, Ian and himself.

Under cross-examination from defence barrister Angus Edwards, acting for Mr Cowan, Fitzy said his role was to make Mr Cowan believe he was being inducted into a large criminal organisation.

Fitzy said he was to convince Mr Cowan the organisation had feelers at least nationally.

"As part of that operation it was to lead Mr Cowan to believe the organisation had connections with customs, connections with a corrupt police officer, connection with the courts?" Mr Edwards asked.

Fitzy agreed.

Mr Edwards: "Throughout that operation there were something in excess of 20 scenarios and on each occasion he was paid money for his involvement in the scenario?"

Fitzy: "That's right."

Mr Edwards: "But he mainly played a supporting role in those scenarios?"

Fitzy: "I was showing him the ropes, yes."

Fitzy agreed he was trying to lead Mr Cowan to believe he was "very close" to being a full-fledged member of the organisation in the lead-up to the "big boss" interview.

Mr Edwards suggested the subpoena to reappear at the coroner's inquest into Daniel Morcombe's disappearance was the only impediment to joining the gang.

Fitzy said it was not the only impediment "but it was certainly a problem".

Jurors trace the steps of Daniel's final moments alive

Mr Edwards said Mr Cowan told him he did not want to be involved in any job involving violence during a recording on May 31, 2011.

Fitzy agreed but said Mr Cowan also told him he would do whatever was necessary to get the job done.

He agreed Mr Cowan was led to believe a big job would net him about $100,000 and that it was to be the start of a number of big jobs in the future if he was a member of the criminal organisation.

Fitzy said it was implied there would be several big jobs a year

Accused killer worried Daniel would remember rego plate

Revealed: How the cops set a trap for Daniel's accused killer


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