THE High Court has rejected Brett Peter Cowan's application for special leave to appeal his murder conviction over the 2003 death of Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe.

The High Court application was the final appeal option Cowan had in attempting to overturn his conviction for the murder of Daniel, who went missing from Palmwoods on his way to do some Christmas shopping in 2003.

Cowan will serve his life sentence.


Throw away his cell key! Cowan is cooked. His appeal application was dismissed, ha ha

Posted by Daniel Morcombe Foundation (official page) on Thursday, 10 March 2016

The court ruled Cowan's confession, which police secretly taped, had not been because of threats made during the coronial inquest into Daniel's death.

His lawyers had argued Cowan believed he would be investigated or charged for the death if he could not come up with an alibi.

Cowan's defence lawyer Tim Meehan spoke to the media outside of the court.

"The result obviously went against us, that's the end of the line so far as Brett is concerned."

"Not much more that can be said."

Police used a "Mr Big" set up to convince Cowan he was applying to join a gang but they needed to know if he had killed Daniel before offering a fake alibi. Cowan confessed to the fake gang which hidden video recorded.

His lawyers claimed Cowan had been "threatened" with further investigation and possibly charged at the inquest if he did not provide an alibi.

The court ruled although Cowan had been "robustly" questioned during the inquest he had not been threatened.

Speaking outside court Daniel's parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe said although they were happy the court processes were done nothing would bring their son back.

"Daniel's name is on everybody's lips. Don't forget him. Don't forget his legacy," Mr Morcombe said.

"We can use Daniels' tragic story to make sure other kids are safe."

The news of Cowan's appeal being dismissed will certainly be celebrated at the 11th annual Dance for Daniel which will be held at Brisbane City Hall on Saturday night.

Mr Meehan told media the convicted killer could not complain about not getting a fair trial.

He said he had spoken to Cowan on Friday morning and would confirm to him of the application's failure today.

More to come.


Morcombes face High Court battle to keep killer inside

BRUCE and Denise Morcombe will head to the High Court today, hoping that the man convicted of killing Daniel almost 13 years ago will stay firmly behind bars.

Lawyers for Brett Peter Cowan have lodged a special leave application to appeal his conviction, arguing that the covert sting operation to secure his confession on camera was unlawful.

They will argue the confession he made to undercover police officers in the elaborate "Mr Big" sting was inadmissible.

Mr Cowan's legal team are expected to argue the confession, and any evidence derived from the confession, should have been excluded from the trial.

They may also argue the trial judge failed to properly direct the jury over evidence from Douglas Jackway and Leslie McLean.

The defence case at trial suggested Jackway was the real killer and Cowan learned the details of Daniel's burial location through McLean sharing Jackway's inside knowledge.

Daniel Morcombe was abducted while waiting for a bus on the Sunshine Coast on December 7, 2003.

Bruce and Denise Morcombe took to Facebook overnight, expressing their hope the appeal will be unsuccessful.

"After 4,479 days we are off to the High Court tomorrow for Cowan's 'Special Leave' application appealing the lawful use of the 'Mr Big' covert operation,'' the post read.

"In Tofilau v The Queen, 6 of 7 High Court justices ruled 'Mr Big' was legal.

Video of Daniel Morcombe murder confession to undercover cops - Excerpts: Brett Peter Cowan confession to undercover police
Video of Daniel Morcombe murder confession to undercover cops - Excerpts: Brett Peter Cowan confession to undercover police

"Let's hope Daniel can rest in peace after 12 years 3 months and 5 days,'' Bruce and Denise posted via the Daniel Morcombe Foundation Facebook page.

The post was shared more than 1600 times and prompted almost 1700 comments.

Dave Powell was among many posting in support of the Morcombes.

"Can this be it now? And Daniel, Bruce, Denise and the family can have some comfort knowing this low life cannot harm again?

"Thankyou Bruce and Denise for your unwavering resolve during these past 12 and a half years.

"And thank you Daniel for what you were forced to give up to allow us to live our lives a little safer. Daniel I hope you have peace soon mate."

Leigh Etherington wrote: "Daniel's abduction case has to set a precedence for our justice system.

"Time and again we see these criminals given ample opportunity to play the system how they see fit, to seek freedom!

"Where was Daniel's opportunity, nowhere !, because it was snatched from him in the cruelest of ways.

"Our High Courts must seek to change the way our justice system operates its laws especially in high profile cases such as Daniel's.

"I am so glad to see The Morcombes fight to the bitter end, not only for Daniel but other families affected by violent and deplorable crimes.

"Almost 13 yrs after his murder, enough is enough.

"We need a powerhouse like The Morcombes, to stand up for this country and to show just how much our justice laws are inadequate and are failing on all fronts to protect innocent victims and their families.

"I believe The Morcombes have the strength, fight and tenacity to keep Cowan right where he belongs, another child and their family do not need to go through any heartache at the hands of a monster."