Day 6 of Daniel Morcombe Murder trial

IT IS day six of the trial Daniel Morcombe.

4.30pm: The 66th witness is Alan Robert Park, who worked for Coastlands Coaches at a depot based in Woombye in 2003.

He said he was chartered to drive from the depot to Tewantin at 2.45pm to Dreamworld for a private function.

Mr Park said he went to the Coastlands Coaches depot via Palmwoods-Woombye Rd arriving around 1.45pm.

He said he left the depot and filled out a log-book marking the time as roughly 2pm.

Soon after, the jury was told, he drove under the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass towards Brisbane.

“I saw a young man standing under the bridge who was wearing a bright red shirt and dark trousers,’’ Mr Park said.

“He was standing with his back to me, we had had incidents in the past of young people throwing stones at the coaches and when he turned around to look at me I thought the worse of him but in hindsight he was looking for his bus, I suspect.’’

He thought the boy would have been aged between 9 and 10.

“He looked at me and then was disinterested and looked away,’’ Mr Park said.

He said he didn’t notice any cars stopped nearby.

The trial has adjourned for the day and will resume on Wednesday at 10am.

Police have told how they ambushed the alleged killer of Daniel Morcombe where a body was later found.

The 65th witness is Gary Ross Mitchell, who said he was visiting his parents-in-law, near Woombye, on the weekend of December 6 and 7, 2003.

He said he left for home by driving across the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass to merge onto Nambour-Connection Rd around 2.10pm on Sunday December 7, 2003.

“That intersection back then was quite treacherous and dangerous because there was no run-in road, you’d have to come into a give-way sign,’’ he said.

“On that day, I stopped and I couldn’t see down the road because there was a car parked under the overpass.

“I complained to my wife that I couldn’t see and I had to stick my nose out further so I could see.’’

He said the car he saw was only a silhouette, but it was an early model square-shaped car.

“As I recall it there were two definite figures, one was leaning on the car, had their back to their car and the car was parked basically in the gutter,’’ he said.

“There was another person up on the footpath … and its raised up from where the car was parked, they would have been about 10ft away from the kerb. They weren’t as big…’’

Mr Mitchell said he vaguely recalled there was a third person standing higher above.

“The light was difficult, I couldn’t tell you … I suppose it, as I remember it, the shape leaning at the car, to me, was male, the shape standing on the ground was not an adult,’’ he said.

Mr Mitchell said the car he saw was parked right under the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

“I believe there was a white van of some sort on the opposite side of the road, further towards Nambour,’’ he said.

“I recall a white van or something like that, a Mitsubishi Express or a Toyota Hiace van facing towards Nambour.’’

In cross-examination by barrister Angus Edwards, for Cowan, Mr Mitchell said the van he saw what looked like a Mitsubishi Express van with windows in the side.

He said the van he saw was parked opposite the Caravan World.

4.05pm: The 64th witness is Barry David Kelsey, who was helping his daughter renovate a house at Nambour on Sunday, December 7, 2003.

He said he saw a boy standing on the side of the road beneath the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass, “presumably waiting for a bus’’.

“I thought at the time he was probably around 11 years old and he had a red shirt on, very clean-cut, good-looking boy, black shorts,’’ he said.

“I saw the boy from quite a way back because he had his arms out as if he was walking on a tight-rope, I think it was on a stick or a line of dirt or something like that.

“Just as I got nearly level with him I noticed a man standing back from him.’’

He said the man was standing 5m or 6m away from the boy.

“Fairly lean build, darkish hair, had a bit of growth I thought, a sort of thinnish face, 5’10 or 5’9,’’ he said.

Mr Kelsey said the man was wearing a light top and dark, long trousers.

“Not a full beard, light more three or four days growth sort of thing,’’ he said.

He said he couldn’t tell if the boy was talking to himself, or singing, or making conversation with the man.

“The boy seemed to be talking and I just gathered he must have been singing or talking to himself and then I suddenly saw this person and realised he might have been talking to him,’’ he said.

He said he also saw an older-style dark-coloured “saloon’’ car parked nearby, past the overpass.

Mr Kelsey said he gave a statement to police and later provided a description of the man he saw that was made into a drawing by a police artist on December 30, 2003.

The jury was shown the drawing put together from Mr Kelsey’s description to police, showing a man with wavy, dishevelled hair, heavy eyebrows and a 5 o’clock shadow.

In cross-examination by barrister Angus Edwards, for Cowan, Mr Kelsey agreed he told police on December 9, 2003, he saw the man facing the young boy and walk slowly towards him.

“I would say that would be correct,’’ he said.

He agreed the man he saw had wavy hair, but not “too long’’.

Mr Kelsey agreed he told police the shirt worn by the man had the appearance of a checked flannelette.

He said the car he saw was a late 1970s to 1980s model car, faded dark-blue in colour and facing towards Maroochydore.

3.50pm: The 62nd witness is Judy Lade, who was living at Palmwoods on December 7, 2003.

She said she left to take her husband to work to load up a truck at a nearby nursery.

Ms Lade said she drove down the Nambour Connection Rd.

I saw a tall skinny man with blondish hair standing there with his knee bent under the bridge,’’ she said.Right under the bridge.’’

She said she also saw a boy as she came around the roundabout.

Ms Lade said she left home around 1.55pm or 2pm and it would have taken her roughly five minutes before she reached the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

In cross-examination by Angus Edwards, for Cowan, she said the man’s hair was shoulder-length.

The 63rd witness is Wendy Burnett who went to church at Buderim on the morning of December 7, 2003.

She said she had gone out for lunch at a hotel afterwards but left at 1.30pm to get home in time for her husband’s work.

Ms Burnett said she took the Palmwoods exit off Nambour-Connection Rd to get home, the same exit near the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass, around 2pm.

“It had been raining and I just noticed there was people standing over near the overpass and it took my attention because folk didn’t usually catch the bus from there,’’ she said.

She saw two people, a man and a young boy, standing under the overpass out of the rain.

“He was a very tall and very unkempt, the hair was all sort of hanging, he looked very gaunt and when I noticed the boy… he was well-dressed but the man wasn’t well-dressed, he just caught my eye,’’ she said.

“He looked like he was too thin for it (his clothes).’’

Ms Burnett said the man’s hair was wet and looked like it “had been dragged on his face’’.

“He only looked like a young primary boy,’’ she said of the boy.

“He had something bright on.’’

Ms Burnett said the boy was on the edge of the road, looking down towards the Big Pineapple while the man was standing diagonally behind.

The jury was shown a photograph of the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass that Ms Burnett had marked in red to indicate where the boy and the man were standing.

The court was also shown a comfit drawing based on the description of the man she saw.

In cross-examination, Ms Burnett agreed she told police the man had dirty blond hair.

3.15pm: The 60th witness is Maureen Martin, who was travelling towards Sunshine Plaza via the Nambour Connection Rd on December 7, 2003.

She said she drove past a bus that had pulled on to the side of the road near Blackall St at Woombye and shortly afterwards drove under the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

“I did see a small boy on the left hand side under the overpass, he just seemed to be playing in the dirt or kicking in the dirt,’’ she said.

“He had a red shirt on and blue shorts.’’

She said she left her home around 2pm.

Witness Chloe Fooks told the jury she lived on Woombye-Palmwoods Rd in December 2003.

She said she was a passenger in a car that drove past the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass on the Nambour Connection Rd on the day in question.

“I saw a young boy standing on the side of the road waiting for somebody,’’ she said.

“He was wearing a red shirt and black shorts.’’

Ms Fooks said the boy was quite close to the road when she drove past shortly after 2pm.

“Right on the edge,’’ she said.

Ms Fooks said she drove on to a nearby service station and purchased an item.

3pm: The 58th witness is Jenny Harth, who operated a service station on Woombye-Palmwoods Rd at Woombye in December 2003.

She said the business closed around 1.15pm on Sunday, December 7, 2003.

“We did see Daniel Morcombe walk past,’’ she said.

She said the boy she saw was wearing a red shirt, shoes and socks and was walking towards Nambour Connection Rd.

The 59th witness is Peter Harth, the husband of Jenny Harth.

“Young Daniel walked past,’’ he said.

“Just briefly, he used to come to the shop occasionally buy some goods for his parents, I guess, fuel for the motorbike.’’

He said he didn’t know the boy’s name was Daniel at that time.

Mr Harth said the boy was walking towards Nambour Connection Rd.

“He had a red T-shirt,’’ he said.

He said he left the service station after closing and drove down Pine Grove Rd towards the Woombye turn-off at Blackall St around 2pm.

“There was a bus parked at the Woombye turn-off near the bus stop, facing south,’’ Mr Harth said.

“There was two or three people with umbrellas standing in front of the bus, I think at the time it was slightly drizzling rain.’’

2.45pm: The 57th witness is Jeffrey Norman, who in December 2003 was a duty controller with the Sunbus bus company.

He said he was based at the depot in Marcoola and had been working on Sunday, December 7.

He said drivers would contact him by two-way radio or by phone.

Mr Norman said he received a phone call from driver Ross Edmonds who told him he’d broken down near Blackall St at Woombye.

“He had quite a few people on board the bus, so I asked another driver if he would take a spare bus out to Ross,’’ he said.

He said the other driver was Stuart Rose.

Mr Norman said he arrived at Woombye in a third bus to finish the route between 2.15pm and 2.20pm.

“There were 10 to 12 people,’’ he said.

“They were just getting off the bus … they were getting on to the other bus, the spare bus.”

Mr Norman said Mr Edmonds continued his route in the new bus with the passengers.

He said he left shortly afterwards with Stuart Rose on board, down the Nambour-Connection Rd.

“It wouldn’t have been any more than two minutes,’’ he said.

“As I was pulling out on to the road, Ross (Edmonds) called me and said `I think there’s somebody under the bridge’.’’

Mr Norman said he took that to mean there was someone under the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

“I said I’d pick him up on the way, I had just pulled on to the road,’’ he told the jury.

Mr Norman said the bus had broken down around 800m, maybe 1km, from the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass, but when he arrived there was no one there.

“No, nobody at all,’’ he said.

“On the left hand side of the road, there was nothing there.’’

He said he slowed right down to 45km/h in the 90km/h zone to look for the person waiting for the bus but did not stop.

1.05pm: The 56th witness is Denise Dance, who drove along the Nambour Connection Rd towards the Big Pineapple on the afternoon of December 7, 2003.

She said she drove under the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass between 1.30pm and 1.40pm.

“I saw a young boy standing close to the gutter under there and I did see other people there but I didn’t see who they were,’’ she said.

She said the boy was wearing a red shirt.

12.55pm: The 55th witness is Karen Brady, who said she left her home and drove past the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass sometime between 12pm and 2pm on December 7, 2003.

“I saw a blue sedan,’’ she said.

“On the Nambour side of the overpass, probably just before the actual bridge.’’

She said the car was parked on the left-hand side of the Nambour Connection Rd.

“I didn’t notice anybody in the car,’’ she said.

“I noticed that there was a young boy in front of the car and a man standing towards the back of the car, away from it.’’

She said the four-door blue car was a darkish blue colour and square in shape.

“It looked like it was in fairly good condition for an older car,’’ she said.

“An old, square-shaped Datsun.’’

Ms Brady said she vaguely remembered noticing “something in the back window’’.

She said the man was tall with collar-length hair and stubble like “a shadow over his face’’.

“He was a tallish man, I remember noticing he was wearing jeans and a T-shirt and I remember him looking like he worked out in the sun a bit, he had tanned skin,’’ she said.

“From what I can remember it was more of a stubble, like there was a shadow over his face.’’

In cross-examination by barrister Angus Edwards, for Cowan, Ms Brady agreed she gave a statement to police on December 23, 2011 to say she had driven past the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass sometime between 1pm and 3pm.

She agreed she told police the man was staring at the boy.

“I believe he was, yes,’’ she said.

“He was tall and slender.’’

In re-examination, Ms Brady said she joined the Nambour-Connection Rd at the Woombye shops but did not see any broken down buses nearby.

She told the jury during cross-examination by Mr Edwards she had never been asked about seeing a broken down bus before today.

12.40pm: The 54th witness is Keith Edward Lipke, 77, a hairdresser who lived at Nambour on December 7, 2003.

In cross-examination by barrister Angus Edwards, for Cowan, Mr Lipke said he had left his home to travel to Sunshine Plaza at Maroochdore via Nambour-Connection Rd around 1.50pm on December 7, 2003.

He said he saw no one under the overpass but his attention was drawn to a blue four-door sedan that pulled up between the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass and the Big Pineapple.

“Dull and faded,’’ he said.

Mr Lipke said the car looked about 20 years old, was squarish in shape and had no hubcaps.

He agreed he had given a statement to police on December 19, 2003, to say he remembered the numberplate, mounted on the rear bumper, was green and white and likely from Queensland.

Mr Lipke said he saw a tarp moving in the back of the car and a glimpse of red material.

“I observed something in the back seat and … as I recall my statement said I thought it was kids or someone under there moving or it was the wind,’’ he said.

“I did observe something red but I took no notice of it.’’

He agreed he told police the red object appeared to be clothing and it looked like someone was underneath the tarpaulin.

Mr Lipke said the driver had collar-length hair.

But he said when he passed the blue car a second time, there appeared to be a passenger, with an “untidy dark beard’’, as well.

He told the jury he looked at a series of blue cars for police on July 28, 2004.

In re-examination by Crown prosecutor Michael Byrne QC, Mr Lipke said he was on the Nambour-Connection Rd near the Big Pineapple when he first noticed the blue car and saw a tarp in the back seat.

Mr Byrne: “Did you ever see how many people were under the tarpaulin?’’

Mr Lipke: “No, it was moving around so I would imagine more than one.’’

12.20pm: The 53rd witness is Christopher Thomas, the general manager of merchandise for Ripcurl.

He said he was shown a pair of shorts by police from Queensland on October 6, 2011.

The jury was shown a closely-framed photo of the bottom of the shorts, which were still coated in red clayish dirt.

“What we see here is a Ripcurl logo that we put onto our shorts at the time,’’ Mr Thomas told the jury.

He said the style of the zipper and button showed the shorts were “walk’’ shorts, not board shorts.

Mr Thomas said the shorts were size 30 or size 32 walk shorts from the Ripcurl men’s range, not the boy’s range.

He said the pocket-styling indicated the shorts were a “five-pocket short’’ in a long-style designed to fall below the knee.

Mr Thomas said the shorts appeared to be a pair manufactured by Ripcurl.

`” worked through all the old catalogues we had and found a style that was in our Summer ’03 range that we thought was in the range,’’ he said.

He said the Summer ’03 catalogue would have been produced in January and delivered to shops from June to December, 2003.

12pm: The 52nd witness is Joan Anderson, who lived on Old Palmwoods Rd at Woombye in December, 2003.

During cross-examination by barrister Angus Edwards, for Cowan, she said she was a passenger in a white ute being driven by her husband on Nambour-Connection Rd.

She said she saw a blue car parked to the north of the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

“It was an older car, it was blue in colour, sort of faded paint, not a silvery look to it, just a very faded, worn colour,’’ Ms Anderson said.

She said it was a four-door sedan.

Ms Anderson said she saw a boy standing two metres away from the rear of the vehicle and the rear passenger door of the car was open.

“There was a man right beside the open door, not fully standing as if he was just getting out of the vehicle,’’ she said.

“I never seen him really fully standing, he was not crouched over but bent forward a bit and as we passed the vehicle and seen the boy on the side of the road, to me the two people didn’t go together.’’

She said the man was aged between 20 and 40-years-old, with “unkempt, mousy-brown coloured hair’’ about shoulder length.

Ms Anderson said the man wore a checked shirt.

“As we passed the vehicle I turned to try and get the letters (of the registration),’’ she said.

“I felt at the time it was NSW… It was the letters `NSW’ that would have stuck with me.’’

She said she was shown pictures of 27 blue cars and asked to identify them by police later.

“It was a bit overwhelming because there were so many blue cars,’’ she said.

The jury was shown two pictures of blue-coloured cars beneath the overpass.

Ms Anderson said one of the cars had similar taillights to the one she thought she saw.

In re-examination by Crown prosecutor Michael Byrne QC she said it was about 1.30pm when she passed the overpass.

“We usually have lunch 12pm, midday, and we commented we were later and it was a bit after 1.30pm when we arrived home,’’ she said.

Ms Anderson said it took five minutes to drive from the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass to her home.

She said the blue car she saw was facing in the direction of Nambour.

11.25am: The 51st witness is Blake Rogers, who travelled to Maroochydore beach on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 2003.

He said he was working as a manager at Red Rooster at Nambour and started work at 2pm.

Mr Rogers said it was between 1.25pm and 1.30pm when he turned off the Nambour-Connection Rd to head home for a quick shower before clocking on for the day.

“I seen (sic) Daniel walking on the side of the road, I was his neighbour,’’ he said.

“A red t-shirt, dark blue or black knee length shorts, a baseball cap and he was holding something like a wallet or a phone in his hand, something small in his hand.’’

He said Daniel was walking along the left-hand side of Palmwoods-Woombye Rd.

Mr Rogers said he drove back along Palmwoods-Woombye Rd and onto the Nambour Connection Rd to start work after his shower when he saw Daniel a second time at 1.50pm.

“Standing on the opposite side of the road underneath the overpass,’’ he said.

He said he didn’t see anyone else nearby.

11am: The 50th witness is Craig Beattie, who lived at Eudlo on the Sunshine Coast on December 7, 2003.

He said his three-month-old daughter would not go to sleep and he took her for a drive with his eldest daughter about 12.30pm.

Mr Beattie said he would have been driving for 45 minutes to an hour when he drove up beside the Woombye Primary School onto Palmwoods-Montville Rd, roughly opposite the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

He said he was driving along Pine Grove Rd when he saw a boy walking northwards.

“I saw a young boy on the left-hand side of the road,’’ he said.

“Red shirt, blue shorts, he was just walking along, looking up at the trees.’’

10.52am: The 49th witness is Terry Theuerkauf, who was 16 when he caught a bus from Nambour to Sunshine Plaza with his sister and friends on Sunday, December 7, 2003.

He said they caught the bus from Nambour about 1pm when it broke down on the Nambour-Connection Rd near Woombye.

Mr Theuerkauf said the bus would have broken down “a couple of km’’ from the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

He said after about 45 minutes a second bus arrived and the group continued its journey to Maroochydore from the back seat.

“I saw two people, I saw a boy trying to wave down the bus and I saw another male person there under the overpass,’’ he said.

Mr Theuerkauf said the boy was standing under the overpass.

“He was standing straight under it, just off the side of the road,’’ he said.

“Just a young boy… yeah. A red shirt but that was about all. He had a stick in his hand and he was just sort of waving at the bus when I saw him.’’

He said the man was leaning against the back wall of the overpass.

“I believe he had one foot actually against the wall when he was leaning against it,’’ he said.

“Sort of a scruffy man, goatee or a beard, shortish hair but that’s about it, yeah.’’

Mr Theuerkauf said he did not believe the man had long hair.

“We just drove past and I only took those few seconds to notice because he was trying to stop the bus, he wanted to get on the bus by the looks of it, the boy standing on the side of the road,’’ he said.

He said there was no interaction between the boy and the man and he didn’t see any other cars nearby.

Mr Theuerkauf said he could not remember anyone else on the bus calling out for the driver to stop and pick up the boy.

10.35am: The 48th witness is Sgt Sharon Leigh Tebbutt, who was a plain clothes Senior-Constable stationed at Caloundra in December, 2003.

She said she received a call from another officer about a missing boy called Daniel Morcombe at 9am on December 8, 2003.

Sgt Tebbutt said she went to the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass and visited the Morcombe family in relation to the report.

The jury was shown a photo of the overpass over Nambour Connection Rd taken by a police photographer who accompanied Sgt Tebbutt on December 8, 2003.

“That’s the unofficial bus stop, the people waiting for the bus would wait on the dirt area,’’ she told the jury.

The jury saw aerial photographs taken of Nambour Connection Rd around the same time, with the overpass and the sprawling car park of the nearby Christian Outreach Centre church to one side of the Kiel Mountain Rd overpass.

Sgt Tebbutt said she returned to the home of the Morcombe family at Woombye after visiting the unofficial bus stop and took possession of a shoe box belonging to a pair of size 8 Globe “Occy’’ shoes.

During cross-examination by barrister Angus Edwards, for Cowan, she said she saw some broken glass, footprints and tyre marks when she visited the bus stop on Nambour Connection Rd.

10.20am: The 47th witness in the trial is Graham Wallace Smith, a geo-technician who visited the crime scene off Kings Rd at the Glass House Mountains several times from August 17, 2011.

“Initially it was to determine what was below the ground in terms of what the profiling of the soil was, whether it was clay, soil…,’’ he said.

He said the site was “highly disturbed’’ because it had been excavated.

Mr Smith said he drilled 13 bore holes throughout the crime scene site to take soil samples and determine the layers of the soil.

“Because that area was subject to flooding, all the sediments, the sand, fine gravels, clay and silt, were held within Coochin Creek and the surrounding areas and each flood event, that would fill up with water and (the grain sizes) would fall out,’’ he said.

“Different flood events would have a different deposition.’’

He said at a depth of 350mm there was a clay soil with a PH of 5 at the site, while at 600mm he found sand with a PH of 6.

He said at 400mm he found clay with a PH of 5, while at a depth of 1m he found clay with a PH of 5.5.

Mr Smith said the soil across those areas was slightly acidic, with a PH of 7 indicating a neutral reading.


Post your thoughts here, then PRESS POST COMMENT button folks, cheers

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.