Accused killer worried Daniel would remember rego plate
DISPOSING of a body was never supposed to be part of Brett Peter Cowan's "opportunistic" abduction.
He just wanted to have his "fun" with Daniel Morcombe and then drop him at the Sunshine Plaza.
But he told undercover cops he was worried Daniel would remember his registration plate or the make of his white Mitsubishi Pajero.
"When he went 'oh no' and pulled his pants back up and tried to get away that's when I went (noise) and we both went in to the ground and just pulled me arm in tight and heard a 'ch' (makes a noise)," he said during a recording played in Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday.
"No screamin', no nothing.
"I probably would have been caught in the end if … I let him go.
"I just wanted to get out of here after I … I had no in intention of knocking him at all, I just wanted to have some fun with him.
"But when he, not struggled, but f***in' I thought he was gonna run and rah rah rah and yeah grabbed him back in the house and choked him out.
"I wasn't out to kill him … that was definitely not on the cards."
Mr Cowan has pleaded not guilty to murder, indecently dealing with a child and interfering with a dead body.
He said dumping the body in nearby bushland and the clothes in a nearby creek, as well as burning his own clothes on his barbecue after cooking dinner that night, was about self-preservation
"I think I shut down, I just went into safety mode, protection mode," he told an undercover police man in another recording.
"And what I've done is f***ing 100% to protect myself.
"There's a difference between somebody who kills somebody and somebody that kills a kid you know."
Describing himself as an "opportunistic offender", Mr Cowan said he pretended he was waiting for someone to get off the bus Daniel was waiting for.
He said he had seen the broken down bus further up the Nambour Connection Rd and when it drove straight past it was easy to convince "cute little" Daniel to come with him.
"So I've gone and said 'oh f*** I was expecting somebody to get off that bus. I'm going into town to see, pick em up from town, do you want a lift?'," he said.
"And he's gone 'yes please' and f***in' walked back to the car, jumped in and f***in' that was it, there was no struggle, no f***in' screamin' and shoutin', nothing. He willingly got into my car.
"I just said 'I've just gotta duck home quickly and just let me missus know what was goin' in'.
"I had no intention of going anywhere near my wife.
"So he didn't ask why we weren't going straight ahead to the Sunshine Plaza.
"He was 'all right, no worries'.
"The bus drove past and the next bus, you know in his mind, wasn't coming for over an hour."
Mr Cowan said there was just "general conversation" during the journey.
"The sky's blue today and that sort of thing," he said.'
"In my mind I'm thinking 'where am I goin'?', 'what am I gonna do?', sh** like that."
During the audio recording, Mr Cowan can be heard directing police to a spot where a demountable building once sat.
He told them he had only been there once since December 7, 2003, with the mother of his third son who has also testified in this murder trial.
"That's where it happened," he said.
"I actually went in to the house while he sat in the car.
"And then I said 'oh me missus said come in and get a drink'. You know to make it look good I went in and then came back out.
"I thought he was going to run and my arm went around his neck and I choked him out.
"I actually felt that break in there. That bone that's in there, I felt that snap in me arm when I pushed it in. Behind the Adam's apple."
Mr Cowan said he learned about that bone from watching episodes of CSI on television since.
He swore he knew nothing about a fob watch Daniel might have had on him, saying he only felt a wallet.
"I state my life on that one," he said.
"Mateship too, my job, the whole f***in lot man.
"I'll even put my kids life on it."
Accused thought under cover cops would clean up his involvement in killing
IT SOUNDED like a sightseeing tour of the Sunshine Coast.
Brett Peter Cowan pointed out the Big Pineapple, the water slide attraction and former rainforest habitat as he showed his Western Australian mates along the Nambour Connection Road.
Impressing them with his knowledge of his old stomping ground, he pointed out a Woombye intersection where there had been a number of fatal crashes and the spot where his trailer detached from his tow truck in Nambour.
Just as casually, Mr Cowan told them where he got married and where he abducted Daniel.
"I can't believe I'm taking about it so matter of factly," he told one of his mates the next day.
In a secret recording played in Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday, Mr Cowan could be heard directing covert police officers from Brisbane Airport to the Sunshine Coast believing they would help "clean up" his involvement in the Daniel Morcombe investigation.
"This (road) takes us to Nam-boring, like Nambour," he said.
"Namb-bouring. It's dead just a ghost town.
"That's the Big Pineapple over there.
"I used to be a f***in' real big tourist attraction. Animal farm, cane train ride, the f***in lot.
"But, um, ever since they put the highway through, this part of the f***ing coast has died.
"That used to be a big f***in' enclosed area with frogs and f***ng like rainforest habitat and that.
"That's the church I was married in. That's where I parked my car, picked (Daniel) up.
"Waterslide on the side there. You know the things you get broken bones on.
"Speed camera up there. There's been fatal accidents in this intersection here."
Mr Cowan would sometimes get a little confused as he took them to the secluded place at Glasshouse Mountains where he confessed he killed Daniel and the bridge over Coochin Creek where he threw the clothes.
But he was quick to correct himself and take his mates on the right route.
Mr Cowan told them he knew the demountable building at 510 Kings Road well because he had been there before to have his "man fun".
He said a "young fella" died at the Coochin Creek bridge more than 10 years ago, sprouting more local knowledge.
"Ended up dead, f***ng car overturned up on its roof, couldn't get out and drowned," he said.
"They reckon you can drown in a f***in (puddle)."
Undercover police officer nothing like assumed identity
THE clean-cut silver-haired undercover police officer sitting in the witness box on Monday was nothing like his assumed fictional character Paul "Fitzy Fitzsimmons".
Long blond pony-tail tucked under a faded, old cap. Brown bomber jacket. Baggy blue jeans. Black suede desert shoes.
And a mouth that needed washing out with soap.
That was the person depicted in an audio recording and subsequent video walkthrough of the Glasshouse Mountains site where Daniel Morcombe's remains were found.
"Shaddo, you didn't tell me you had to be a commando to do this sh**, mate. I like the urban area," he said as he climbed down an embankment where Daniel had been thrown over.
"It's like being Bear f***in' Grylls in there."
A video shown in Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday showed dense pine forest and shrubbery where Mr Cowan said he carried and dragged Daniel's body to its final resting place.
Mr Fitzsimmons told the court they secretly recorded Mr Cowan talking them through his actions at the site on August 10, 2011, and they returned to video what he had shown the next day.
He said Mr Cowan thought Daniel's body might have been under a small body of water, separate to a nearby lake or dam, which was not there in 2003.
His remains were found 50-75m away from where Mr Cowan pointed.