DAY one of the murder trial of Daniel Morcombe.
3.20pm: Justice Atkinson warned the jury’s members against conducting their own investigations into the trial.
“It’s inherently unjust for you to act on information that’s not in evidence,’’ she said.
She said it was a criminal offence for jurors to conduct any search or investigation into the trial.
Justice Atkinson said the trial was expected to run for six weeks from Mondays to Thursdays only.
“I will do whatever I can to assist you in this trial while you perform a very important task for the people of Queensland,’’ she said.
3.05pm: Justice Atkinson said the jurors were the “impartial judges of the facts’’.
“It is absolutely necessary that you pay careful attention to the evidence and ignore anything you’ve read, or anything you hear about this case outside court,’’ she said.
“Only you are the judges of the facts.’’
She urged them to approach the trial “fairly, calmly, without prejudice and solely on the evidence’’.
Justice Atkinson told the jury not to listen, read or watch any media reports of the trial and instead, act only on the evidence heard in court.
She told the jury not to use any form of electronic communication to discuss the trial.
“Don’t take any risk of any external influence on your mind and don’t speak to anyone who is not a member of the jury on this case,’’ she said.
3pm: Justice Atkinson introduced the jury to the courtroom and the roles of staff, barristers and prosecutors.
She urged the jury to avoid anyone in the public gallery.
She explained to the jury the charges against Cowan, which include murder, indecently dealing with a child under 16 and misconduct with a corpse.
On the charge of murder, she said the jury needed to be satisfied of four elements: that Daniel was dead, that Cowan caused the death, that the killing was unlawful and that the defendant did so with intent to cause his death or grievous bodily harm.
She said if the jury was not satisfied Cowan intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm, it could convict him of murder on a second basis by finding that Cowan did an act that caused the death or was likely to endanger Daniel’s life while carrying out the unlawful purpose of indecently dealing with him.
Finally, she said if the jury was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of Cowan’s guilt on murder, it should consider whether he was guilty of manslaughter.
She said three elements would need to be determined; that Daniel was dead, the defendant killed him and by finding the killing was unlawful.
2.40pm: Supreme Court Justice Roslyn Atkinson has warned the jury in the trial of Brett Peter Cowan, 44, of their duty to decide a verdict based only on the evidence heard in court.
She said Cowan was innocent until proven guilty.
“My principal task is to ensure the defendant has a fair trial,’’ Justice Atkinson said.
She said the jury was the decider of the facts heard during the trial.
12.30pm: A jury panel of 12 and three reserves have been empaneled in the trial of Brett Peter Cowan at the Supreme Court in Brisbane.
The process took more than two hours after 10 members asked to be excused due to concerns about impartiality.
Justice Roslyn Atkinson told the panel it was essential they were, and seen to be by all fair-minded members of the community, completely impartial.
Four panel members were told to remain on the jury but six were discharged.
Crown prosecutor Glen Cash read the names of 158 potential witnesses who will likely give evidence during the trial.
Cowan was placed into the care of the jury.
10.30am: Brett Peter Cowan, also known as Shaddo N-unyah Hunter, 44, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Sunshine Coast school boy Daniel Morcombe.
Wearing a grey suit and striped white shirt, Cowan stood in the prisoner’s dock of court 4 in the Brisbane Supreme Court to be formally arraigned before a prospective jury pool.
Cowan pleaded not guilty to Daniel’s murder, to the boy’s indecent treatment and to interfering with his corpse at the Glasshouse Mountains on December 7, 2003.