Bruce and Denise Morcombe address the media.
Bruce and Denise Morcombe address the media. Nicholas Falconer

Accused killer named

 

A SUPPRESSION order prohibiting naming Daniel Morcombe's accused killer has been lifted.

State Coroner Michael Barnes on Tuesday evening lifted the order that he made in December last year.

The decision means media organisations can publish the name of 41-year-old Perth man, Brett Peter Cowan, who was on Saturday charged with the murder of Daniel Morcombe, almost eight years after the 13-year-old went missing.

The move was supported by Daniel's parents, Bruce and Denise, who hope the release of his name may result in more witnesses coming forward.

"Because of the very fact that he lived in the area, and he was reasonably well known on the Sunshine Coast, my clients are hopeful that it might lead to other witnesses coming forward once his identity is disclosed," said lawyer Peter Boyce, who is representing the Morcombes.

Daniel was last seen in December 2003 as he waited for a bus at Woombye to go Christmas shopping.

Cowan has also been charged with indecent treatment of a child under 16, child stealing, deprivation of liberty and misconduct with a corpse.

Police and emergency services crews are scouring bushland on the Sunshine Coast where they believe his body may have been dumped.

Cowan's lawyer, Tim Meehan, neither opposed nor supported the application by media organisations to have the suppression order lifted.

However, he reminded the public to respect his client's rights during the lengthy judicial process.

"We ask you to be aware of the fact that (Cowan) is presumed innocent," he said.

Cowan briefly appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court for the first time on Monday.

Mr Meehan indicated his client would fight the charges and said he would apply for bail in the Supreme Court in Brisbane at a later date.


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