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Gympie woman takes stand at Daniel Morcombe trial

A GYMPIE woman has testified she saw a child with white sneakers on the Nambour Connection Road later being bashed in the back of a blue car on the day Daniel Morcombe went missing.

Belinda Russell gave evidence at the trial of the accused murderer of Daniel Morcombe, Brett Peter Cowan, on Wednesday.

Ms Russell, who was living at Woombye at the time, said a blue 80's model car with a squarish looking boot sped past her a few minutes after she saw the boy.

She said she saw a "fairly young looking boy with black hair" wearing a red t-shirt and "fairly white shoes" in the shadow of the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass between 12.30-1pm.

Ms Russell said she saw the boy raise his hand to hail a blue Sunbus travelling in front of her family but the bus drove past.

She said a sky blue, sun-faded, four-door sedan later pulled sharply in front of her and was moving around violently.

"I could see a person who I thought was a male in the back seat," she said.

"He was punching and moving violently in the back of the seat, slightly to the right."

Ms Russell said it was like he was sitting on top of someone because he was sitting quite high in the back seat.

She said she saw a white sneaker rise up at one point, as if it was kicking out at the person.

Ms Russell said it appeared to be the same sneaker she had seen the boy wearing a few minutes earlier.

She said the man hitting seemed to be using his elbows and his fists as he punched down "violent and fast" towards the back seat.

"So much so that the back of the car itself was bouncing around," she said.

Ms Russell said she did not get a good look at the person driving the car because he did not turn around or even acknowledge what was happening in the back seat.

She said she tried to write down the rego number but her pen would not work so she just had an indentation on her shopping list which has since been thrown out.

Ms Russell said she remembered the Q because that was the first initial of her older son's name and C because it was the first letter of a former boyfriend's name.

She said she "definitely" remembered the number seven too and believed it was a Queensland number plate.

Topics:  brett peter cowan

Gympie Times

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