News State QLD News Morcombe trial enters final stretch

Morcombe trial enters final stretch

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The jury in the Daniel Morcombe murder trial is expected to retire on Wednesday to consider its verdict.

Justice Roslyn Atkinson will continue giving her final directions to the jury when the hearing resumes in Brisbane at 10am.

Jurors could begin deliberating on the fate of accused killer Brett Peter Cowan from as early as this afternoon.

Cowan, 44, has pleaded not guilty to murdering and abducting the Sunshine Coast schoolboy on December 7, 2003.

He’s also pleaded not guilty to indecent treatment of a child and interfering with a corpse.

In summing up on Tuesday, Justice Atkinson directed jurors not to draw any conclusions from Cowan’s decision not to testify at his own trial, saying it proves nothing.

“The fact that he did not give evidence is not evidence against him,” she told them.

“It doesn’t constitute an admission of guilt by the conduct and it can’t be used to fill any gaps in the evidence led by the prosecution. It proves nothing at all”.

Prosecutors have urged the jury to focus on Cowan’s confessions about abducting and killing the boy, arguing they are so compelling they leave no doubt to his guilt.

But defence barrister Angus Edwards says Cowan had falsely confessed to powerful gang members, who were really undercover police, in bid to prove himself so he could join the gang and make millions.

Mr Edwards said it was obvious Cowan lied because he didn’t have time to do all the things he said he did to Daniel, and got wrong key details, such as the exact location of Daniel’s remains.

The defence has said the only reason Cowan knew roughly where the remains were was because a friend of convicted pedophile Douglas Jackway had told him.

The prosecution has said suggestions of Jackway’s involvement is a red herring and there is no evidence to put him at the scene of Daniel’s abduction.

Jackway has denied discussing Daniel Morcombe with a fellow prison inmate in 2006 when he testified as a witness in the trial.