Daniel Morecombe’s killer, Brett Peter Cowan has lost his final appeal against his conviction and sentence.
Brett Peter Cowan was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 with a non-parole period of 20 years for killing Daniel in 2003 after Cowan abducted the 13-year-old while he waited for a bus on the Sunshine Coast.
The ABC reports that his lawyers launched an appeal on six grounds including “potential prejudicial media during the trial and that police improperly obtained a confession.”
Tim Meehan, Cowan’s lawyer said he was not overly positive that he could have won the appeal.
“He was realistic,” Mr Meehan said outside court.
Mr Meehan said he would take instruction from Cowan on whether to pursue an appeal further and when asked if Cowan was open to taking it further, Mr Meehan replied, “Yes.”
“Available to him is a special leave application to the High Court, and that’s what we will be pursuing,” he said.
“We need to examine the decision of the court, the reasons for their rulings, obtain some instructions in relation to that, give advice to our client in relation to the reasons of the court, and that will determine what we do from here.”
Mr Meehan said the heart of an appeal in the High Court would be the undercover police operation, which extracted a confession from Cowan.
“We believe the police officers in this particular operation overstepped the mark and their illegality rendered the admissions inadmissible,” he said.
While Daniel’s father Bruce was present, his mother Denise did not attend.
Mr Morcombe said it had been more than 11 years since they saw Daniel and they would never forget him.
“Today we hope that Mr Cowan doesn’t forget his actions,” he said outside court.
“He will spend 20 years in jail and we hope they are tough. He’s locked up probably for the rest of his life and truly we hope it is the entirety for his life. It’s very mixed emotions, really, it has been a long process.
“It is not a moment of celebration, but reflection. It is relief, but who knows, it may not be the end. We will wait and see.”