Daniel Morcombe’s killer will stay in jail.

The Court of Appeal this afternoon dismissed Brett Cowan’s appeal of his murder conviction.

A sentencing appeal was also thrown out, meaning the case is effectively over.

Joshua Bristow reports.


Court of Appeal President Margaret McMurdo took just three minutes to announce the two judge panel’s decision.

Bruce Morcombe say it’s the end of another chapter in the harrowing saga.

Bruce Morcombe, Father: “It came so quickly, so swiftly and it is a relief, but who knows it may not be the end, we will wait and see.”

Brett Peter Cowan had asked for an overturning of his conviction or a retrial.

His lawyers questioned the legitimacy of the police operation, after an elaborate ruse tricked Cowan into confessing and leading police to the crime scene.

In dismissing the appeal against the conviction, one of the presiding judges, Justice Hugh Fraser, wrote, “I agree with the President’s conclusions that the applicant did not exercise his right to silence but instead spoke freely to police.”

The Newman Government’s Attorney-General had appealed the conditions of Cowan’s sentence.

That too was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, ruling the trial decision was sufficient.

The challenge has been marred by controversy.

Chief Justice Tim Carmody removed himself from the panel and has been on sick leave ever since.

He says the side-effects of back pain medication would prove a deterrent to his judicial duties, and will be reviewed next month.

Mr Cowan will be eligible for parole in 2031.

Joshua Bristow QUT News.