Daniel Morcombe.
Daniel Morcombe.

Morcombe inquest to shock public

THE Sunshine Coast community must prepare for the shocking, disturbing details to emerge in the inquest into Daniel Morcombe’s disappearance in five weeks today.

Bruce and Denise Morcombe have had time to deal with the graphic details of the 7500-page document which forms the basis of the hearing in Maroochydore Coroner’s Court, beginning October 11.

The inquest date marks exactly day 2500 since their 13-year-old son disappeared while waiting to catch a bus in December, 2003.

But Mr Morcombe said yesterday, speaking from a Child Protection Week function in Townsville, those details would shock other parents and probably their own children who were keen to attend.

“As parents we’re concerned at what they may hear might be unsettling and disturbing to them but they are grown men these days,” he said.

“I think the number of and nature of these predators is something ordinary parents on the Sunshine Coast would not be aware of.

“We used to put ourselves in that bracket but after nearly seven years (since Daniel went missing) our eyes have been opened. We’re shocked by the number of predators out there.

“The public just need to have their wits about them and definitely arm their kids with as much protection and knowledge as possible.”

Mr Morcombe said he and Denise had already been preparing themselves mentally for the traumatic experience.

He said they had already familiarised themselves with the court room at Maroochydore Courthouse where the inquest will be held.

Mr Morcombe said the inquest was about ensuring steps had been taken to make children safer, streamlining the way missing children cases were prioritised and finding out what happened to their then 13-year-old son.

“I think Michael Barnes and his staff are on a mission to make sure it doesn’t happen again but we also want to find out what happened to Daniel, where Daniel is and make sure the people responsible are removed from society,” he said.

“There will be some of the sharpest legal minds in Queensland working to establish the truth.

“I believe those responsible have every right to feel nervous because the blowtorch is about to be ignited.

“It’s hard to think of a worse crime and these people would do it again, that’s everybody’s fear.

“We just can’t let that happen. We’ve got to make sure we identify the right people and we work on making sure they’re put away.

“I’ve read the report pretty well from cover to cover, all 7500 pages. Denise found that really difficult and could not read it all.

“So how we cope listening to people explaining some of the situations will be difficult.

“I’ve indicated that if there’s a role for me to play, I’m prepared to ask questions.

“For career criminals to lie to police is probably second nature but to lie to Daniel’s father, with Denise just metres away, will be an emotional process for us but you hope these people have a sister, brother or they’re an uncle and realise they’d hate to sit where we are.

“But it might not be the career criminals we find the answers from, it could be someone on the fringe who has been protecting them for seven years.”

Mr Morcombe, who returned to the Coast last night to a meal cooked by his children, said he was thinking of Daniel on Father’s Day but he chose to do something positive rather than dwell.

“You can’t change what’s happened but if we can reduce or eliminate it happening again here or anywhere in the world, that’s why we get up in the morning,” he said.

Read more about Daniel Morcombe in the news.

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