Day 11 of Daniel Morcombe Murder trial

Cowan has pleaded not guilty before Justice Roslyn Atkinson to murder, indecent treatment and misconduct with a corpse.

Video of a police interview with the accused in 2005 has been released by the court. Watch it  below

Part 1 and 2 (split for you tube)

4.20pm: Testimony has finished for today. The trial will resume at 10am tomorrow.

3.40pm: The 114th witness to give evidence is West Australian undercover police officer number 452, who was given the name Paul Fitzsimmons during an investigation into Brett Peter Cowan.

He said many of his dealings with Cowan between May and August, 2011, were recorded and written down.

Mr Fitzsimmons agreed he first met Cowan at the High Wycombe shops on May 4, 2011.

“It was just a short meeting to put me in the picture,’’ he said.

He said he next met Cowan in relation to a debt collection scenario that was played out on May 16, 2011.

“It was a large criminal organisation… and I was, I guess, a mid-level member of that organisation,’’ Mr Fitzsimmons said.

He said Joe Emery worked beneath him and Geoff worked a level up from him.

Mr Fitzsimmons said another undercover police officer with the name of Arnold or “the Big Boss’’ was the head of the organisation.

He said Mr Emery was told to collect another $2000 outstanding from a brothel madam on May 16, 2011.

“Ongoing work for a so-called criminal organisation just to get money for the network,’’ he said.

He said he drove with Cowan to meet the madam known as Cassie in Freemantle.

“I think on that first deployment he was just present,’’ he said of Cowan’s role.

He said he repeated the so-called organisation’s mantra to Cowan.

“Trust, honesty and loyalty to the criminal group; that’s what we wanted to reinforce,’’ Mr Fitzsimmons said.

He said later that night he met Mr Emery at a casino, who drove Cowan home.

“That’s where I started to take over I guess. I was the primary operative and contact for Cowan,’’ he said.

Mr Fitzsimmons said Cowan told him on the way to Cassie’s house he wanted to be introduced as Shaddo N-unyah Hunter.

“So I just referred to him as Shaddo,’’ he said.

He said he observed prostitutes and collected money from them with Cowan and Mr Emery on May 20, 2011.

“The scenario was she was working outside the scope of the criminal group at this stage,’’ Mr Fitzsimmons said.

He agreed it was the scenario where an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute called Brooke had been working outside of the criminal organisation.

Mr Fitzsimmons said he supplied illegal seafood, in particular crayfish, to a restaurant owner called Eddie on May 24, 2011.

He said they met another undercover officer who was posing as a person called Carlos at a port who delivered the crayfish in Styrofoam boxes.

He said crayfish were tightly controlled in Western Australia.

Mr Fitzsimmons said Cowan was paid between $150 and $200 for the job.

He said he picked up Cowan for another job to get blank passports on May 31, 2011.

He told the jury the scenario was designed to show Cowan they had wide reach as a criminal group.

Mr Fitzsimmons said he collected more money from another undercover operative called Dean, as part of an ongoing agreement.

“The blank passports came from an operative as I recall in Northbridge,’’ he said.

He said the seventh scenario involved a bank manager who was on the crime group’s books and was using a prostitute on June 2, 2011.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the aim was to blackmail the bank manager by taking photos of him with the prostitute at a café in Scarborough.

He said Cowan was told to do the job.

“He was enthusiastic, saw himself as a photographer… and saw that as a skill,’’ he said.

Mr Fitzsimmons said he explained to Cowan how the hierarchy of the group worked and how he could move up through the ranks if he earned trust.

He said the eighth scenario involved debt collection and bribing a customs officer at the Perth International Airport on Monday June 6, 2011.

Mr Fitzsimmons said he picked Cowan up in his car to collect around $3000 from the madam Cassie in Freemantle before travelling to the airport to pay another undercover police officer $1500.

He said the officer was posing as a customs officer.

“For that money we got to gain access to a customs warehouse for a later scenario,’’ Mr Fitzsimmons said.

He said the corrupt officer allegedly gave them a key and an alarm code for the building.

He said Cowan was “learning the trade’’ at that time.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the ninth scenario was to stage a burglary of the customs warehouse to steal cigarettes on June 9, 2011.

He said another undercover police officer posing as a gang member called Jason was also involved in the scenario.

He told the jury picked Cowan up and drove to the warehouse on the Canning Highway in south Perth or Victoria Park after 11pm.

“We met with covert operative Jason at a petrol station, he had a ute so we jumped into his vehicle and we drove to the warehouse and Mr Cowan was to act as a lookout and we were to do the burg,’’ Mr Fitzsimmons said.

He said they went inside, loaded the cigarettes into the back cabin of the ute and then drove off.

Mr Fitzsimmons said they went to the casino and Jason departed.

He said Cowan was paid in cigarettes and cash.

He said the 10th scenario involved the supposed purchase of illegal firearms from a trusted associate of the crime group on June 14, 2011.

Mr Fitzsimmons said they met another undercover officer posing as a dealer called Danny who brought three pistols into the car.

“Mr Cowan made out he had a knowledge of firearms and he handled them… he told me his dad was quite high up in the Army and that throughout his childhood he’d had a lot of access to firearms,’’ he said.

He said the pistols were brought to a hotel room and cleaned of fingerprints.

Mr Fitzsimmons said they were on-sold to a person they told Cowan was a bikie associate.

He said he had contact with Cowan again to collect $10,000 and some fake passports on June 16, 2011.

“I’d always pick him up and we’d go in my vehicle, yes,’’ Mr Fitzsimmons said.

He said they drove to do a cash pick-up of $10,000 from Eddie, the restaurant owner who paid them for crayfish at Northbridge.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the money was placed in a prominent position in the car.

He said they went to Cocos restaurant, which was silver service fine dining so Cowan could get to know Geoff – the state boss above Fitzy – better.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the bill was substantial and picked up by the crime gang’s senior member, Geoff.

“The scenario was Joe had become a liability for the crime group but the crime group looks after its members…,’’ he said.

He said Joe Emery was given plane tickets and cash and told to fly to London.

He said Geoff took Mr Emery’s mobile phone and they were told to delete his number from their phones.

Mr Fitzsimmons told the jury the next scenario involved paying $30,000 to an undercover operative called Ian who was a member of the crime gang who was also a court worker at the Perth District Court.

He said Cowan waited outside while he met the court officer on June 21, 2011.

He said it was so the court employee could do the group “a favour’’.

Mr Fitzsimmons said he collected $6000 from another prostitute that same day with Cowan.

He said he orchestrated a scenario involving the movement of the party drug ecstasy on June29, 2011.

Mr Fitzsimmons agreed Cowan was told there would ultimately be a large drug importation that would net the group roughly $1 million.

“The ongoing was that the crime group members would get 10 per cent, which would mean roughly $100,000 to Cowan,’’ Mr Fitzsimmons said.

He said Cowan was asked to meet and move metal canisters from Albany, about 5 or 6 hours south of Perth.

He said empty canisters were delivered to a corrupt port official, who was actually an undercover police officer.

Mr Fitzsimmons said he paid $8000 to the port authority official for his role in facilitating the movement of the canisters.

He said Cowan was involved in the collection of a large amount of cash from the brothel madam called Cassie on July 6, 2011.

He said he asked Cowan whether he would be willing to do another trip away, this time to the eastern states or Melbourne.

Mr Fitzsimmons said Cowan was involved in the collection of an expensive stolen car on July 10, 2011.

He said he met up to recover a Mercedes Benz worth a lot of money owned by a person who owed the crime gang money.

He said Cowan was told to meet with Jason, another crime gang member, while the accused played look-out.

“I picked him up,’’ he said.

“As I recall he… was happy to do that sort of scenario.’’

He said the 16th scenario involved a trip to Melbourne to show Mr Cowan “the crime gang had members in every city’’ on July 13, 2011.

Mr Fitzsimmons the criminal aim of the trip was to retrieve some jewellery and bring it back to Perth.

“It was a blood diamond scenario, the diamonds were not cheap, they came from Africa and I can’t remember the exact scenario…,’’ he said.

He agreed he took $40,000 to Melbourne to buy the blood diamond.

Mr Fitzsimmons said Cowan saw the money.

He said they carried out similar cash pick-ups while in Melbourne to help the crew in Victoria.

He said they visited the Hilton and Cowan had the opportunity to meet the so-called Big Boss Arnold.

Mr Fitzsimmons said there was an entourage with Arnold, made up of undercover police from Victoria.

He said a so-called corrupt police officer was introduced to Cowan and was asked to check him out in relation to his prospects with the crime gang.

He said he and Cowan collected $20,000 from an illegal brothel and a prostitute and paid money to the casino on July 14, 2011.

Mr Fitzsimmons said the diamond was collected on July 15, when they flew back to Perth.

He said the next scenario, which involved the collection of $9000 from the brothel madam Cassie, played out on July 21, 2011.

Mr Fitzsimmons said Geoff instructed he and Cowan to meet a corrupt police officer called Craig behind the police headquarters in Perth.

He said the gang paid $3000 to the so-called corrupt officer, known as Craig.

He said Cowan made several comments about his new work.

“I always wondered how the other side lived and now I can find out for myself,’’ Mr Fitzsimmons told the court Cowan said.

“I’ve found my calling, I’ve found the job I’ve been waiting for, for all these years.’’

He said the next job was when he met a corrupt Army officer at a cemetery in Freemantle on July 23, 2011.

Mr Fitzsimmons said Cowan was instructed to take photos of an airfield on July 26, 2011.

He said it was intended that a large amount of drugs would be flown in there, as part of the big job the group had planned.

The court heard the 22nd scenario also concerned the airfield on July 29, 2011.

He said he met with Cowan in a car park at the casino to discuss surveillance at the airport.

“I said Arnold, who is the crime boss, can fix everything but you don’t want to cause shit when you do not have to,’’ he said.

“I spoke to him about how we were on `a golden par’ and he didn’t want to f*ck it.’’

He said the metal canisters dropped off in Albany were collected from a car park in an outer suburb of Perth on August 2, 2011.

He said they met with Simon the port authority manager and moved the canisters.

“They were pills, they just looked exactly like ecstasy pills,’’ Mr Fitzsimmons said.

He agreed the pills were actually made of chalk.

He said the scenario was the pills were a sample numbering just 5000.

He said scenario 24 involved Cowan and him speaking to the corrupt police officer Craig again on August 4, 2011.

2.45pm: Undercover police officer Joe Emery told the court he called Cowan up to ask for his help to look for a car about 1pm on April 2, 2011.

Mr Emery said he went to Cowan’s van park at Orange Grove to pick him up and go car shopping.

“He got into my hire vehicle and we proceeded to Mr Magoo’s motors,’’ he said.

Mr Emery said he saw a maroon Ford Fairmont he liked but it didn’t have a CD player.

He said Cowan told him he had one that he could use.

Mr Emery said he bought the car on Monday, April 4, 2011.

He said he texted Cowan the next day and they met up again the following day at his caravan on Wednesday April 6, 2011.

“There was a morning news broadcast on. There was numerous articles on the news and Mr Cowan paid little attention to this. He wasn’t watching it, (he was) talking to me mostly, until a broadcast came on about the Daniel Morcombe disappearance,’’ he said.

He said the news bulletin mentioned it was the biggest missing person case in Queensland’s history.

Mr Emery said they had a discussion about what the last big missing person case in Queensland might have been.

He said they drove to Cowan’s post box at a shopping centre called High Wycombe and then toured the local area around Perth.

Mr Emery said they returned to the caravan park and he met the woman Tracey again.

“I told him I booked a motel in the city for a couple of nights and he didn’t enquire further,’’ Mr Emery said.

He said he picked up an application for the caravan park from the office that same day.

He said he planned to go to Fremantle with Cowan on Saturday, April 9, 2011 but received a text from Cowan cancelling on the day of the trip because he wasn’t feeling well.

“He’s a sandblaster, spray painter at that stage. That’s what he told me on the plane over from Brisbane,’’ Mr Emery said.

Mr Emery said Cowan told him he had employment not far away on April 10, 2011.

He said he went to check the post office box on that same day.

“He had a letter which had OHMS on the envelope and he said it was from the Western Australian government to initiate a name change,’’ Mr Emery said.

He said Cowan told him he was changing his first name to Shaddo and then N-unyah, “that’s what he’d told me at that stage’’.

Mr Emery said he left for Fremantle with Cowan after visiting a McDonald’s at 3.45pm on April 16, 2011.

“We were just sightseeing around the foreshore area of Freemantle I suppose it would be; the restaurants, boats,’’ he said.

“At this stage I was still just building rapport and trying to build a relationship with Mr Cowan.’’

1.20pm: The 112th witness is Leslie James McLean, who told the jury he lived in Brisbane’s northern suburbs.

In cross-examination by barrister Angus Edwards, for Cowan, Mr McLean agreed he went to jail for aiding a suicide in 1997.

The jury was shown a photo of Douglas Brian Jackway.

Mr McLean agreed he knew the person in the photo as someone he might have known in prison who was nicknamed “Rat’’.

He said he had only seen this person once since he’d been out of prison.

Mr McLean said the man in the photo was using heroin in the same room as him once.

He said Cowan would visit him at his parent’s home in Stafford.

Mr McLean agreed he and Cowan would sometimes attend church together.

He did not remember going to a sandmining site with Cowan on the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Edwards: “I suggest you did go to a demountable building near the Glass House Mountains, do you remember that?’’

“I don’t remember going to any demountable building,’’ Mr McLean said.

“I remember him working for a place that made windmills.’’

Mr McLean agreed he would speak with Cowan a couple of times on the phone while he was away in Western Australia.

Mr Edwards asked whether he spoke to Cowan at Mr McLean’s home about the Daniel Morcombe case on September 14, 2006.

“I do remember Brett coming to me and telling me he’d been interviewed,’’ Mr McLean said.

Mr Edwards put to Mr McLean that he told Cowan that day he had information about the disappearance of Daniel Morcombe.

Mr McLean: “No.’’

Mr Edwards asked whether he told Cowan that another person told him where Daniel’s bones would be located.

Mr McLean: “Never.’’

Mr Edwards: “I suggest to you, that you told him it was near the demountable building at the sandmining site?’’

“Never,’’ Mr McLean said.

Mr Edwards suggested Mr McLean told Cowan in some detail where he’d been told the bones were, down in the gully at the sandmining site.

“Never,’’ said Mr McLean.

Mr Edwards suggested someone told Mr McLean they abducted Daniel Morcombe on his way to Sunshine Plaza and later disposed of the boy’s clothes by throwing them into a bridge with running water.

“Never,’’ said Mr McLean.

Mr Edwards suggested Mr McLean asked Cowan what he was going to do with the information he had just given him.

“Never,’’ said Mr McLean.

Mr Edwards put to Mr McLean that he told Cowan not to tell anyone about what he’d been told about the Daniel Morcombe case because he was “scared of being beaten up’’.

“Never,’’ said Mr McLean.

The court was told Mr McLean tried to ring Cowan’s mobile on the day he was arrested.

“He’d called me early that morning,’’ Mr McLean said.

“I don’t believe I recall ringing several times. I don’t recall.’’

The 113th witness, a Queensland undercover police officer told the jury he assumed the identity of “Joe Emery’’ and caught a Qantas flight to Perth in the seat next to Cowan at 8.10pm on April 1, 2011.

He said they chatted on the flight over and Cowan told him he should consider staying at a caravan park instead of a motel.

Mr Emery said Cowan gave him the address and phone number of the van park at Orange Grove where he was staying.

The court heard the flight arrived in Perth around 11.30pm.

Mr Emery said Cowan met a woman introduced to him as Tracey

 12.30pm: The 111th witness is Aaron John Wood, who in cross-examination by barrister Angus Edwards, for Cowan, told the court he was driving along the Nambour Connection Rd around 1.30pm on December 7, 2003.

He said he drove under the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass after returning from the rubbish tip around 2.10pm.

He agreed he saw a blue sedan parked nearby.

“It was nearly on the road, I had some palms I picked up from my friend on the way back from the dump at Woombye and we sort of had to swerve around the car and overtook it,’’ Mr Wood said.

He said the car looked like a Holden Commodore sedan but he was “more concentrating on getting around the car with the trailer’’ than watching what make it was.

He agreed it appeared a mid to late 1980s model.

Mr Wood said he noticed the driver’s door of the blue car was open and there were three people on the passenger side of the car, close to the embankment.

“It wasn’t directly underneath the bridge,’’ he said.

He agreed one of the men was a male, but couldn’t tell about the gender of the other individuals, although he said one appeared child-sized.

In re-examination by Crown prosecutor Glen Cash, Mr Wood agreed he purchased take-away from the Palmwoods Take Away Shop later that day.

He agreed the statement on his credit card showed it was purchased at 3.09pm.

Mr Wood said he would have driven to the take away shop about 15 minutes after passing the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

12:15pm: The 110th witness is Joszef Gebri, who said he was driving home from Buderim to Brisbane via the Bruce Highway at 6.15pm on December 7, 2003.

In cross-examination by Angus Edwards, for Cowan, he agreed he was driving past Roys Rd when he saw two cars parked along the roadside.

He said the cars were about 15m to 20m from the highway on a dirt road near to a pine plantation.

Mr Gebri said the first car he saw was an older-style blue sedan with “not-new’’ paint parked in a “T-bone formation’’ near to a white van.

He agreed he saw an adult male close to the cars and a child who appeared to be 12-years-old and with dark hair.

“Apprehension, possibly fear,’’ Mr Gebri said of the expression on the child’s face.

He said there was a third man standing nearby.

In re-examination by Crown prosecutor Glen Cash, Mr Gebri agreed he signed a police statement on December 8, 2005 after approaching them a day earlier.

The 109th witness is Carol Eileen Wilson, who said she was driving along the Nambour Connection Rd just after 2pm on December 7, 2003.

In cross-examination by Angus Edwards, for Cowan, she said she drove under the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass and saw a boy aged roughly 12, wearing dark shorts and bulky sneakers.

Ms Wilson said she saw a “whitish’’ looking van parked near the roundabout off the overpass.

“I just passed the young boy and then I could see the van and I continued on my way,’’ she said.

She said the rear door of the van, which looked to be around 20 years old, was open.

In re-examination by Crown prosecutor Glen Cash, Ms Wilson said she was driving to Maroochydore when she saw the boy and the van.

The 108th witness is Stephen John Salmon, who lived at Mapleton in December, 2003.

He said he was driving on motorbike along the Nambour Connection Rd when he noticed a white van stationary in the middle of the road.

In cross-examination by barrister Angus Edwards, for Cowan, he said the car looked similar to a Toyota Hiace.

Mr Salmon said he saw no people under the overpass.

11.58am: Barrister Angus Edwards, for Cowan, cross-examined Detective Sen-Constable Ross Hutton about Douglas Brian Jackway being treated by police as the first person of interest in their investigation into the Daniel Morcombe case.

Sen-Constable Hutton agreed in the first interview, Jackway told them he left his home on Bertha St at 10.30am, then went to Paul Carrington’s house until late in the day.

He agreed Jackway was interviewed again on December 12, 2003 and did not mention fighting with his girlfriend on Sunday, December 7, 2003.

He agreed on December 16, 2003 Jackway provided a written statement to police and told them on Friday, December 5, 2003 he went to pick up his impounded car from near Maroochydore by catching the train.

Sen-Constable Hutton agreed Jackway told police he was picked up from the train station by a friend who was driving a white 4WD that same day.

He agreed Jackway told police that his car broke down around a one minute walk from the service station on Nambour Connection Rd.

Sen-Constable Hutton said Jackway’s car was seized on January 9, 2004.

He agreed Jackway was interviewed at Paul Carrington’s house on December 12, 2003.

He agreed Mr Carrington had an “extensive’’ criminal history that included child sex offences.

The jury was shown a surveillance picture of Jackway’s 1980 model Holden Commodore merging into traffic taken by police between December 2 and 8, 2004.

It was also shown a police mugshot of Jackway and a surveillance photo of Jackway walking with another person near to the blue car.

Sen-Constable Hutton said there were surveillance photos of Mr Carrington around the same time but he could not recall if he wore it in a ponytail.

He said he could not speak to Mr Carrington’s identity in 2004.

Sen-Constable Hutton said he checked Jackway’s bank records in December, 2003 and found he made withdrawals or balance inquiries on December 4 and 5 and again later on December 8 and 9.

He told the court he allowed Cowan to make a phone call to a woman after he was arrested at Kings Rd at the Glass House Mountain.

He agreed there were also calls from a man called “Les’’ that went unanswered on Cowan’s phone because he was in the company of police.

Sen-Constable Hutton said there were 33 people who had reports compiled about them by police at the time of an inquest into Daniel Morcombe’s disappearance.

“There’s one who wasn’t involved in any way, it was a fraud, however a report was compiled but he wasn’t a person of interest as such,’’ he said.

He said he compiled the first report in relation to Jackway but a later review was conducted by Homicide.

“It was a review of the previous investigations into Jackway,’’ Sen-Constable Hutton said.

He agreed he was present when Cowan gave evidence in the inquest in early 2011.

“He was spoken to in relation to his actions on the 7th of December, yes,’’ he said.

Mr Edwards asked whether Cowan was told about the evidence of Sandra Drummond and Kevin Fitzgerald who could not be certain about whether he had visited them on the afternoon Daniel disappeared.

Sen-Constable Hutton agreed he was.

He agreed the questioning Cowan was subject to take place over two days at the inquest.

“Was it you who prepared the blue car room?’’ Mr Edwards asked.

“No, it came from my suggestion but I wasn’t involved … I was involved in the selection of vehicles,’’ Sen-Constable Hutton replied.

He agreed the room was set up so people could come in and point out the vehicle they had seen at the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

Sen-Constable Hutton agreed he put together person of interest reports on numerous people, including some who borrowed a silver car, and another who drove a blue Holden Gemini that was left at a train station at Yandina.

“They were heavily involved in drug and property crime,’’ he said.

He agreed he investigated P20 and P21, in relation to the allegation one of them had a watch, and drove a white van and a blue sedan.

Sen-Constable Hutton agreed P20 committed suicide two days after police spoke to him in relation to the Daniel Morcombe case.

He agreed P20 regularly travelled the Nambour Connection Rd and had a business storage location close to the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

Sen-Constable Hutton said he had no involvement in an investigation into a man named Kneebone.

He said he was aware bushland near Glass House Mountains was searched as a result of “a detailed account’’ by a man called Davey told police.

“The first two days were by a cadaver dog … and the third day was by SES,’’ he said.

Sen-Constable Hutton said he was not present for a search at the Pinkenba boat ramp but he requested it, again as a result of things Davey had said to police.

He said neither search turned out anything.

In re-examination by Crown prosecutor Glen Cash, Sen-Constable Hutton agreed that Jackway’s bank records showed there was a balance inquiry and withdrawal from the BP Express Service Station at 5am on December 8, 2003.

He said there were many people who were discounted from the police investigation because there was “no supporting evidence to indicate any involvement’’.

Justice Roslyn Atkinson asked the jury to discount the question after an objection from Mr Edwards.

The trial continues



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