Denise Morcombe's favourite photo of her son Daniel.
Denise Morcombe's favourite photo of her son Daniel.

Jarrod Bleijie orders appeal in Daniel Morcombe case

QUEENSLAND'S Attorney-General has announced he will appeal the 20-year minimum sentence handed to Daniel Morcombe's killer.

Jarrod Bleijie said he had instructed the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the sentence of Brett Peter Cowan.

The Attorney-General has advised Crown Prosecutors that he is of the view that the non-parole period that was set must be appealed because it is "manifestly inadequate, is not in line with community expectations and does not set an adequate deterrent".

The decision follows discussions with the director and Daniel's parents, Bruce and Denise Morcombe, Mr Bleijie said.

The Sunshine Coast MP is expected to make a statement on the issue in Parliament this morning.

The announcement comes as Mr Bleijie foreshadowed on the weekend tougher laws for convicted child sex offenders.

Bruce and Denise Morcombe have made it clear that Cowan, who has a shocking criminal history involving children, should never be released.

"Hopefully he's dead by the time he's 60 so we won't have to think about the non-parole period," Mrs Morcombe told 60 Minutes.

Cowan, who is 44, could be released in his early 60s in the unlikely event he serves only the minimum non-parole period.

Justice Rosyln Atkinson, in sentencing Cowan, said the 20-year non-parole period did not mean that Cowan should be released in 20 years time.

She urged parole authorities to take into account his serious previous convictions when determining whether he should be released.

"I am not of the view that you should be released in 20 years time ... that is not in my control," she told the Supreme Court.

"Whenever anyone is considering the prospect of granting you parole in the future they should mark my words that you are a convincing, plausible and adaptable liar."

However, she also warned that any push to increase penalties for child sex offenders could lead to more children's deaths. Offenders were more likely to kill children to avoid being caught, Justice Atkinson argued.

The maximum non-parole period for murder in Queensland is 20 years - which was increased from 15 years by the Newman government.

THE REACTION ON THE SUNSHINE COAST DAILY'S FACEBOOK PAGE

Casey Dovey  It should be life behind bars WITHOUT the possibility of parole!!!

Kerrie Young  I can't help wondering too little too late .. this should have been done at his first sentence!!!!!! just don't EVER let him out EVER!!

Lisa King Bring back the death penalty

Aimee Van Dyke I applaud a longer sentence however didn't the judge hand down the longest sentence available for this crime? I was of the understanding that it was the laws and sentencing that needed to be reviewed.

Yasminia Hughes Life is only 15 years now. They all do this... The appeal can go bad for that thing.

Julian Groneberg Jarrod blowhole is just trying to grandstand and get populist measures through to attempt to make his ailing government look good. Not saying I don't agree with a longer sentence, just the motives behind it are completely self interested.

Jane Budgen That's really good, but how much money is this going to cost? Why can't the Justice system "get it right" the first time? Judges need to be accountable ...

Nicole Winton-Delaney He already stuffed up with that other pedo and his now out because he rushed the law and now a never to be released pedo is out of jail. So I have little trust in boy wonder and can't DO.

Tones XTurner The life sentence in qld is at the discretion of the judge. It's not 15 years. That's just been a commonly used sentence.

Diane Heath Life For A Life - Stamp it "MONSTER - Never To Be Released" tattoo their forehead "child molester

Daniel's law push to have public register of our worst offenders

Earlier this week, the Morcombe's family lawyer, Peter Boyce, backed a call for a public sex offenders' register and said the required change in law should be called "Daniel's Law'.

Mr Boyce, who has been the solicitor for the Morcombe family for the past decade, said the inquest into the death of the Sunshine Coast teenager "changed" his views on people.

He supported Denise Morcombe's call for a public sex offenders' register, but said there had to be limitations in place.

"Offenders such as Cowan, those really serious offenders, need to be identified," Mr Boyce said.

He said most people would think it "reasonable and fair" that anyone who commits a crime against a child should go on the register.

The Daniel Morcombe inquest in 2011 fundamentally changed Mr Boyce's views on criminals and their capacity for rehabilitation.

He is now a supporter of an "indefinite sentence", which has kept criminals like Douglas Brian Jackway behind bars after being deemed too dangerous to be released into society.

"Before the Morcombe inquest, I would have said as a lawyer you can't do that," Mr Boyce said.

"But having seen the calibre of people (identified as persons of interest in the inquest) I have a different view.

"I would have fought tooth and nail against an indefinite sentence. But I now believe some people don't want to be part of our society.

"A lot of them, when you look at their history, they have been given lots of chances. There is nothing more you can do for them.

"Some people don't want to live in our society and if they don't - we have to ask when is enough enough?


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