Attorney-General to appeal Cowan sentence

Appeal decisionsThe Attorney-General is to appeal the Cowan sentence imposed in the Brisbane Supreme Court.   Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie has instructed the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the sentence of Brett Peter Cowan, who was convicted of murdering Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe in 2003.

The Attorney-General has advised Crown Prosecutors that he is of the view that the non-parole period that was sentence must be appealed because it is manifestly inadequate, is not in line with community expectations and does not set an adequate deterrent.

The sentence imposed by The Honourable Justice R Atkinson in the Supreme Court on 14/3/14 was one of life imprisonment with a non parole period of 20 years.  In imposing her sentence Her Honour accepted the submissions of the Crown Prosecutor and increased the non parole period from the minimum period of 15 years.

This sentence means that Mr Cowan will need to apply for Parole after he has served 20 years.  There is no right to parole and in our view it is unlikely that he would be granted parole, on his first application.

It is very easy to get caught up in the hysteria of particular cases, but Justice Atkinson’s reasons for the sentence imposed were well articulated and will be provided to any future parole board.

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