Abduction story was a lie: inquest
A MAN repeatedly lied about abducting and burying missing teenager Daniel Morcombe because he hated the police and wanted to waste their time, a court has been told.
Giving evidence in the Maroochydore Coroners Court on Wednesday, Detective Senior Constable Ross Hutton said the person of interest known as P1 told police he had helped abduct the 13-year-old from a Sunshine Coast bus stop on December 7, 2003.
The court was told the tip-off sparked a massive search - including the use of a cadaver dog flown up from Victoria - of the Beerburrum State Forest.
However, Daniel's body was not found, and P1 later told police he lied about the correct location because he was worried about being charged.
Det Hutton said P1 continued for some time to maintain that he had been involved, giving a number of different versions of the events surrounding Daniel's disappearance.
The court was told he told police he had travelled to the Sunshine Coast on December 7 with an associate, P2, and an unidentified third man.
He said they bundled Daniel into the car and took him back to Brisbane, where he was abused.
P1 said he and P2 then disposed of Daniel's body in bushland.
However, the court was told when P1 - who is in jail for the manslaughter of another man - was later called before a secret Crime and Misconduct Commission hearing in 2007, he said he had lied about everything because he wanted to make trouble for police.
"P1 recanted all versions and said he wasn't involved and that he'd made all those versions up because he despised police, and he wished to annoy police," Det Hutton said.
Det Hutton agreed P1 had wasted "thousands and thousands and thousands of hours" of police time with his lies, and that he could not be trusted.
He said P2 has consistently denied any involvement in Daniel's disappearance.
Det Hutton said police had struggled to link P1 and P2 with each other prior to the date of Daniel's abduction, and had difficulty tracking their movements on the day because they had both used mobile phone registered in false names.
"If we could link them it would be a different kettle of fish but we just couldn't link them there on the 7th," Det Hutton said.
The inquest continues.
Daniel's body was in drum: inquest
DANIEL Morcombe was inside a blue barrel stamped with the number 23.
A Brisbane pimp and drug dealer named Adam Andrews, who frequented the Fortitude Valley, rolled that drum into the Brisbane River near the refinery.
An emotional prisoner, known as P1, told police the 13-year-old had not “fulfilled his role” as a child prostitute so he was dumped a week after he disappeared from the Kiels Mountain overpass on Nambour Connection Road on December 7, 2003.
Daniel was last seen at that spot wearing a red T-shirt and dark shorts.
Witnesses said they saw two scruffy men standing near him and an older, square-shaped blue car, possibly with NSW plates, parked nearby.
P1, a person of interest in Daniel’s suspected murder, said he was present when Andrews – a 30-year-old living in the north Brisbane area – rolled Daniel into the river.
Detective Senior Constable Ross Hutton told Maroochydore Coroners Court that P1 told police he and Andrews were both working as pimps.
“He indicated a way of making money was extorting money from male prostitute clients, that he was going to use young Daniel as a prostitute and extort money from the clients,” he said.
“In his words, ‘he f***ed up’ and that’s why he’s buried.”
Det Hutton said P1 was at a brick house with two garage doors at Mount Gravatt, with a silver Toyota Landcruiser parked next door, when he first saw Daniel on December 12 or 13.
P1 is in jail for killing P1X, an older man who was a client of P1. P1 claimed he saw Daniel in P1X’s car.
P1 said he saw Adam Andrews put Daniel in the car and that he “appeared to be affected by drugs and was lethargic”.
“He said he saw a red T-shirt in the car, which was used to wipe down the windscreen, and last saw it in the boot”.
Det Hutton said P1 saw Daniel again the next day in a hotel car park where they were trying to score heroin.
He said he and Andrews drove to Kangaroo Point on December 14 or 15 to pick up a utility, which already had a drum in the back, and drove down a little known track on the Brisbane River.
P1 said he asked Andrews about not wearing gloves and was told, “there’s no need because the saltwater will wash the prints off”.
Det Hutton said water police waded through the mud flat base of the Brisbane River but they suspected the current or turbulence of the river, or a trawler, could have shifted the barrel.
P1 told police the ute had been traded in for a white Holden Commodore on Ipswich Road.
Det Hutton said police chased every avenue they could to find Adam Andrews, including police and intelligence checks, bank accounts, pawnbroking records and the Department of Communities.
He said they also checked the records of every car dealer along Ipswich Road, went to car wreckers and went through manual transactions at a Bald Hill shop where Andrews supposedly used his key card.
Det Hutton said he door knocked areas in Mount Gravatt where silver Landcruisers were registered and searched numerous houses P1 pointed police to.
But they could find no trace of a man called Adam Andrews.
Det Hutton said P1 told police he would tell Mr Morcombe the truth and a meeting was organised but nothing more fruitful was divulged.
He said further investigations revealed P1 did have an associate people knew as Adam, known as P2, who he had lived with.
Det Hutton said P2 had a blue Nissan Pintara, with false NSW plates, and lived in a home at Windsor.
“There is a room on the lower level with block walls, a solid door and one window which a lot of people described as the dungeon,” he said.
Det Hutton said another associate, known as P1N, contacted police about a conversation he alleged occurred between P1 and P2.
Det Hutton said the man had proved reliable and honest in other information he had given police.
He said P1N told police P1 and P2 were teasing him one day because he was wearing a red t-shirt and dark shorts similar to the last clothes Daniel Morcombe was wearing.
P1N told police that P1 left the room and P2 told him P1 was responsible for the “kid on the Coast” who went missing.
Det Hutton said P1N provided information suggesting P1 and P2 had procured a child for P1X or an older man.
He said P2 agreed they had teased P1N about his clothes but denied the further conversation.