Revealed: How cops set a trap for Daniel's accused killer

WITH "easy" cash-in-hand jobs flowing his way and a share in a $1 million drug deal on the horizon, Brett Peter Cowan believed he had it made.

"I'd always wondered how the other side lived and now I can find out for myself," Mr Cowan told undercover police officer Fitzy less than a month before he was charged with Daniel Morcombe's murder.

"I found my calling. I found the job I've been waiting for all these years."

But that is exactly what undercover police wanted him to think.

Covert operative #452, known as Paul "Fitzy" Fitzsimmons, told Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday that they created the "illusion" of a wealthy crime gang through 24 scenarios to convince Mr Cowan he could have the same lifestyle.

Mr Cowan has pleaded not guilty to murdering Daniel on the Sunshine Coast on December 7, 2003.

Fitzy told the court that every time he saw Mr Cowan between April and August, 2011, in Perth he would reinforce the gang's "mantra" of trust, respect and loyalty.

Mr Cowan watched as thick wads of cash - often as high as $10,000 in a transaction - changed hands between various ventures the gang was involved in.

He saw the gang bribe a corrupt customs officer, port official, district court worker and police officer with money to keep them on the gang's payroll.

Fitzy said they even sourced blank passports to show how far-reaching the gang was.

After delivering a load of illegal crayfish to a restaurant owner in Northbridge, Fitzy said he went with Mr Cowan to meet the West Australian crime boss "Geoff" at a prestigious fine dining restaurant in Perth named Cocos.

They were with Joseph Emery - a Queensland undercover officer who first befriended Mr Cowan on a plane from Brisbane on April 1, 2011.

Fitzy said this scenario involved sending Joe to London with $10,000 so he could lay low after he faced a problem to show the gang was capable of fixing anything.

"The purpose of going there that day was so Mr Cowan could get to know Geoff a little bit better and also realise the whole illusion of the crime boss earning all this money, eats at Cocos, lives overlooking the Swan River and that sort of lifestyle the crime gang lives," he said.

Mr Cowan was shocked at the price of the bill that Geoff paid that night, the court heard.

Throughout testimony from Joe and Fitzy, Mr Cowan was portrayed as the kind of bloke who was always happy to help.

After he met Joe on the plane, he offered to help him find a car and set him up at the caravan park where he was living.

He even let Joe use his post office box to receive the registration details for his car and other personal mail while he decided if he would stay in Perth.

When Mr Cowan was laid off "last one in, first one out", Joe returned the favour and leant him some money.

He also got him some "easy money" work with his boss.

Mr Cowan's introduction to the gang was heading to Perth Domestic Airport with the photographs of a person they needed to confirm got off a flight.

He was then led through another 23 scenarios from checking whether a prostitute was working outside the gang to collecting money debts to selling illegal pistols to bikies.

Mr Cowan saw illegal crayfish trades in a state where such fishing is tightly controlled, he saw a bank manager blackmailed and watched $40,000 change hands in Melbourne for blood diamonds imported from Africa.

The Melbourne trip, where he met the "big boss" Arnold was to show the crime gang stretched across the country.

"We had to meet with someone who worked with a bank to show Mr Cowan we had fingers in a lot of pies and that person gave us some credit cards and then later that night we met with the manager of a wharf (who was purportedly connected to the organisation)," Fitzy said about one scenario where they drove 5-6 hours south to Albany.

"They were large metal canisters, sealed, specifically made for drugs and they were to go to the (corrupt) port manager and he would put them on the ship and later come back with ecstasy pills."

Those metal canisters, filled with 5000 chalk pills that looked like ecstasy, were collected on August 2, 2011, from a car park in an outer suburb of Perth.

Fitzy said they discussed how they were a sample of the drugs that would be handed over in the "big job".

"The ongoing (story) was that the crime group members would get 10% … which would mean roughly $100,000 to Mr Cowan," he said.

Mr Cowan was even given his own role to help in the planning for the big job, the court heard.

He was tasked to do surveillance at an airfield outside Perth where the drug delivery was supposed to take place.

Fitzy said he had gradually given Mr Cowan roles to play as if he was "bringing him on board" and "learning the trade".

The court heard some recordings will be played when Fitzy continues his evidence on today.

News report on Daniel Morcombe captures Cowan's attention

FOUR days after the arriving back in Perth from an inquest into Daniel Morcombe's disappearance, a news report captured Brett Cowan's attention.

His new mate Joe Emery, who he met on the plane from Brisbane back to Perth, said he visited Cowan at his van at the Orange Grove caravan park while a news broadcast was on in the background.

"Mr Cowan paid little attention to this, he wasn't watching it, he was talking to me until a broadcast came on about the Daniel Morcombe disappearance," he said.

Mr Cowan turned to watch the TV in silence until the conclusion of that story, the court heard.

"At the end of that story they said it was the largest investigation in Queensland history and it was twice the size of the previous investigation," Joe said.

"We had a discussion about what that previous investigation was. He was interested to know and was speculating about what it may have been."

A 2003 police photo of Douglas Brian Jackway, as tendered to the Supreme Court during the trial of Brett Peter Cowan.
A 2003 police photo of Douglas Brian Jackway, as tendered to the Supreme Court during the trial of Brett Peter Cowan.

Former prisoner with links to both Cowan and Jackway

A FORMER prisoner with links to Brett Peter Cowan and Douglas Brian Jackway has denied knowing where Daniel Morcombe's remains could be found in the Glasshouse Mountains.

Leslie McLean refuted all suggestions put to him in Brisbane Supreme Court that he showed murder accused Mr Cowan the sand mining site where Daniel was found.

McLean, who was jailed in 1997 for aiding a suicide, said he saw Jackway, who he knew as "rat" in prison, once on the outside, likely between 2003 and 2005.

He said he would visit Mr Cowan on the Sunshine Coast around that time and would sometimes go to church with him.

Mr Cowan's defence barrister Angus Edwards suggested McLean told his client he knew the person where Daniel's bones could be found and that the clothes had been thrown into running water.

"Never," was McLean's firm response.

Mr Edwards suggested McLean took Mr Cowan to an old sand mining site and pointed to the spot Daniel had been dumped.

"No. I don't believe I had been to there," McLean said.

McLean agreed, under questioning, that he had a multiple personality disorder and he sometimes could not remember what the other person had said or done.

He agreed other personalities could have a conversation he no would not remember later which he knew because other people had informed him of that.

Mr Edwards has suggested to the jury that Jackway could be in the frame for Daniel's murder and that someone else could have told his client where Daniel's remains could be found.