Top cop investigated over Daniel Morcombe case
ONE of Queensland's most senior police officers is the subject of a new internal investigation over claims of misconduct linked to the Daniel Morcombe inquest, which is scrutinising police actions.
Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon, who was head of Homicide during the hunt for Daniel and his killer, is being investigated by the Ethical Standards Command, The Courier-Mail can confirm.
This follows complaints by former detective Dennis Martyn to the Crime and Corruption Commission, that have been referred to the Queensland Police Service to examine. The process will be monitored and reviewed by the CCC.
Claims include that Mr Condon abused his position by colluding with other officers to try to prevent Mr Martyn and another former officer Kenneth King giving evidence at the inquest and to find out what evidence would be given in order to discredit them.
Another claim alleges an officer, at the request of Mr Condon, accessed files and disclosed the complaints history and other personal details of Mr Martyn and Mr King.
Morcombes pushed for inquest to be reopened
The Morcombes, through their lawyer Peter Boyce, pushed for the inquest into Daniel's death to be reopened even after Brett Peter Cowan was convicted of the crime.
They were unhappy with some aspects of the police investigation and believe other families could be spared the pain they have been through if processes are improved.
The reopened inquest heard Mr Condon had initially rejected Cowan as a suspect, according to Mr Martyn, a former senior constable, who first interviewed Cowan in 2003 after Daniel's disappearance.
Martyn said he told the head of the homicide squad, now Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon, "You've got Cowan, I think you'll find he's your man."
Mr Martyn said Mr Condon replied: "F..k off, you wouldn't know anything."
During the hunt for Daniel's killer, there were thousands of pieces of evidence and 35 persons of interest.
Much of the initial investigation focused on convicted child rapist Douglas Brian Jackway.
He was convicted for abducting and raping a 10-year-old boy near Gladstone in 1995 and was released from jail in 2003, the same year Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe went missing.
Cowan also had a history of violent opportunistic sexual assaults on young boys.
The inquest highlighted a 45-minute gap in Cowan's alibi that had never been thoroughly investigated and which Cowan was not able to adequately account for in his evidence.
Mr Martyn and his police partner at the time, former constable Kenneth King, worked in the early days of the massive investigation.
They assessed the whereabouts of about 20 initial persons of interest on the Sunshine Coast and they were sent to interview Cowan in December 2003.
"He said he didn't see Daniel," he told the inquest. "I said, 'that's pretty much bullshit'. I said, 'I know what you do to little kids'. I said, 'You cannot tell me you didn't notice him'."
Mr King told the Brisbane hearing no one had come back to them to check details of the initial investigation and his official notebook was unavailable until shortly before Cowan's pre-trial hearing in 2013.
"Cowan was a very strong suspect," he said. "I thought it was odd. No one had ever come back to me to clarify or check details."
Mr King raised his concerns on ABC's 7.30 following Cowan's conviction in 2014.
Cowan's car was searched after the initial visit from Mr King and Mr Martyn.
This was evidence the police continued to take Cowan seriously, the inquest heard.
Ass Com Condon told the inquest last December that there was not enough evidence to arrest Cowan until 2011.
Even then Ass Com said, he still had reservations about whether some of the evidence against Cowan would withstand the scrutiny of the Supreme Court and any subsequent appeal.
Ass Com said that looking back the case "not from the arm chair after it has been solved" but based on the evidence presented to police at the time, he was comfortable with the decisions he had made.