Daniel Morcombe.
Daniel Morcombe.

Man 'looked like a murderer'

A NAMBOUR woman told a coronial inquest today that she saw a man who looked like a "murderer" near Daniel Morcombe's abduction site.

Judith Vendermeer said she had seen the man at the nearby Woombye church in the weeks before Daniel's disappearance.

"There was something that made me feel uncomfortable about him," he said.

"The week after that my attention was drawn to him again because he was sitting with a girl who was quite vulnerable.

"I was quite alarmed by this.

"I told my three children not to make eye contact with him."

Ms Vendermeer said she then saw this same man near a blue car on December 7, 2003, the day Daniel went missing.

"I thought that's a stupid place to park, I thought he must have a flat tyre," she said.

"I was aware there was at least two men there.

"Wow, if ever I've seen murderer...," she said describing the man she saw.

"It was the same man from the church.

"It was a hot day and my window was down.

"I heard a noise. I remember a young boy's voice and a man's voice.

"I heard a no and this urgent yelling, very short, sharp and quick.

"But I was very anxious about being late."

Peter Johns, counsel assisting the coroner, asked why many things were not mentioned in her first statements to police, such as the fact she saw Daniel too that day.

Ms Vendermeer said she was stressed when it happened and the details did not come back to her until she began relaxing on her Christmas holiday a few weeks later.

A man whose son and lover accused him of abducting, raping and killing Daniel has just taken the stand.  

Morcombe confessor 'seeking revenge'

A MAN expected to make a courtroom confession to the abduction and murder of Daniel Morcombe has concocted a story out of revenge and should not be believed, a detective says.

Detective Senior Constable Virginia Gray told the Brisbane Coroners Court on Wednesday that a person of interest (POI) in the case - known as P33 - had given police a "disturbingly detailed account" of how he and his older male lover, P32, had snatched the 13-year-old from a Sunshine Coast bus stop on December 7, 2003.

The inquest into the teenager's disappearance and presumed murder heard that P33 first contacted police in 2004. He had implicated only P32 in the abduction, claiming P32 had sexually assaulted Daniel before dumping his body.

But, P33 had gradually expanded his story over the years to implicate himself, Det Gray said.

P33 is due to give evidence at the inquest on Thursday.

The latest contact from P33 came in October this year, when he wrote to state coroner Michael Barnes confirming his involvement in the crime and giving further details about how it occurred.

Det Gray said P33 gave new details about identifying marks on Daniel's body and the location where he claimed the boy's body was buried.

She said both leads had been followed up but had proven fruitless.

Det Gray said investigations of P33's allegations that a police officer had also been involved in the crime had likewise come to nothing.

He said P33 had never been charged with the offence because his stories always had many inconsistencies.

"His admissions don't hold any credibility," she said.

Det Gray told the inquest she believed he had concocted the story to have revenge on P32, who had reported him to police for possessing child pornography and sexually abusing his young daughter.

"You see it as being the strong motive to seek revenge on (P32) by implicating him in this crime?" asked Alan MacSporran SC, who is representing the Queensland Police Service.

"That's correct," Det Gray replied.

She told the court she also believed he maintained the story, embellishing it along the way, in order to gain notoriety.

"I personally believe he just loves the attention," she said.

"He's quite convincing."

Mr MacSporran asked: "And that's the context that we should judge the evidence we're going to hear tomorrow?"

"That's correct," Det Gray replied.

The inquest continues on Wednesday afternoon, when P32 will give evidence.

Witnesses 'disgusting human beings'

THE parents of Daniel Morcombe (pictured) have described the adoptive father and son expected to give evidence today and tomorrow as "disgusting human beings".

As they walked into the Brisbane Magistrates Court today to begin day 12 of an inquest into their son's disappearance, Bruce and Denise told media it had been difficult to sit through some of the evidence this week from persons of interest.

He described the testimony from career criminals and habitual liars as yes sir, no sir, three bags full.

"What we want is the truth," Mr Morcombe said.

"(This week) has demonstrated how hard it has been for police (to get answers) over the last seven years."

P32 and P33 will give evidence today and tomorrow. The son has made allegations against a man he has a sexual relationship but calls his father.

He has claimed his father abducted, raped and killed Daniel Morcombe.

P2 says he was set up for money

A PERSON of interest known as P2 claimed on Tuesday that he was falsely implicated in Daniel Morcombe’s disappearance because he was used as a scapegoat to gain reward money.

The man said people who had implicated him in the 13-year-old’s abduction from Nambour Connection Road were motivated by money or a hatred towards him.

Craig Chowdhury, counsel assisting the coroner at an inquest in Brisbane Magistrates Court, alleged P2 was in the car with P1 when they picked up Daniel on December 7, 2003.

“That’s not true, sir,” he said.

“I heard (P1) said some damning things about me but they weren’t true.

“He was using me as a scapegoat to get the reward but he would need some proof.

“I’ve got nothing to hide.

“There’s no way we could have got there anyway, sir, we had no money,” he said when asked about travelling to the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Chowdhury questioned P2 about other allegations made against him and he denied all of them.

“You must be an unfortunate bloke with all these people making up lies about you,” Mr Chowdhury said.

“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that,” P2 said. “There’s been a lot of people try to implicate me or make me look like I have involvement or something.

“They all seem to be related to my ex-girlfriend or family.

“I think those people who alleged me were putting a price on my head, making me expendable, but I am not responsible for that crime.”

P2 said he had a blue Nissan Pintara with NSW plates, similar to a car seen near the site of Daniel’s abduction.

The court heard people had told police that P2 picked up the boy to give him a lift because he had missed a bus but he died when they gave him heroin.

P2 denied this. He denied that he disposed of a blue car in NSW and that he had been bragging about being involved in “a thrill kill”.

He said his brother’s accusations that he was involved did not surprise him.

“He was trying to set me up,” he said. “He’s used my name numerous times with police when he’s been to doing crimes, using my identity.

“He’s always been jealous of me for some reason. He shot me in the hand when I was nine years old. He’s a mean brother.”

P2, who has a long drug-related history, said he had no interest in young boys.

“I’ve always had a girlfriend in my life. I’ve never been sexually weird,” he said.

P2 claims he did not know P1 until after Daniel went missing.

Police investigations cannot disprove this.

The inquest continues.

Hope dashed

A MAROOCHYDORE detective has clarified that a mystery call to Sunbus about a missing boy the day Daniel Morcombe disappeared did not provide a fresh lead as was hoped.

Detective Tracey Barnes said it must have been Daniel’s mother Denise the next day and that Sunbus duty operator Jeff Norman was now unsure about when he received the call.

Det Barnes told Brisbane Coroners Court the three calls made to Sunbus at the time on the afternoon Daniel went missing had been thoroughly investigated.

One came from a young girl wanting to catch a bus, one was from a family man at a Noosa resort trying to avoid car parking issues, and one was from a minister of religion who dialled the wrong number.

Morcombe family lawyer Peter Boyce suggested Mr Norman’s memory would have been fresher two days after Daniel’s disappearance and therefore must have received a phone call.

“Evidence suggests that it wasn’t,” Det Barnes said.

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