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'Daniel would be alive today if it were not for the system'

Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston speaks to the media after Brett Peter Cowan was found guilty of murdering Sunshine Coast boy Daniel Morcombe.
Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston speaks to the media after Brett Peter Cowan was found guilty of murdering Sunshine Coast boy Daniel Morcombe. David Stuart

BRAVEHEARTS founder Hetty Johnston says Daniel Morcombe would still be alive today if it were not for a system that put the civil liberties of convicted sex offenders first and foremost.

The child safety advocate has called for legislative changes to be introduced to keep sex offenders behind bars indefinitely.

Daniel Morcombe was abducted and killed in December 2003.

His remains were located more than a decade later.

Judge considers sentence against Daniel's vile killer

His killer, Brett Peter Cowan, was found guilty on Thursday (Mar 13) of murdering the Sunshine Coast teen.

Cowan's sordid criminal past was read out in court including to conviction for child sex offences.

Ms Johnston said, outside the Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday, the guilty verdict should be a catalyst for change to ensure Daniel Morcombe had an everlasting legacy.

"If there is any doubt that these type of people could reoffend then they should not be released," she said.

"If that happened in this case Daniel would still be alive today.

"These offenders are released from our courts on a daily basis and it must stop.

"Little lives like Daniel's would not have to be lost on the mantle of the civil rights of convicted sex offenders.

"Daniel did not have to die. He should be here today if the system got it right."

Top cop delighted at Cowan decision

Ms Johnston said every Queenslander owed a massive debt to the Morcombe family.

"Every parent and every grandparent owes the Morcombe family, and Daniel, so much," she said.

"Through their pain, suffering and resilience every child in this country will be safer."

Topics:  brett peter cowan daniel morcombe hetty johnston


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