'How long does it take?': Morcombes wait for inquest result
BRUCE Morcombe says an "extraordinary delay'' in the marathon inquest into his son Daniel's death is weighing heavily on the family.
The Courier-Mail understands the State Coroner has been stalled in releasing his findings due to a long-running investigation into misconduct claims against Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon.
The claims relate to Mr Condon's conduct as part of the inquest, which is scrutinising the police response in Queensland's biggest murder investigation, during which he was head of Homicide.
The claims were investigated internally by the Ethical Standards Command for eight months without an outcome before the case was taken over by the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Two months ago, the CCC said it was hopeful it could finalise the probe "as soon as possible''. In its latest response, a spokesman said investigations were continuing.
It is understood a number of serving police officers have been interviewed as part of the inquiry. Mr Morcombe told The Courier-Mail it had been an "extraordinary delay''.
"I mean, how long does it take?'' he said. "We have had no news and it is noted by us that this has been a very drawn-out process. We understand there is a legal process that has to be followed, but it is certainly a very uncomfortable time for us as a family.''
Mr Morcombe said the last sitting was December 14 last year and it was looking increasingly likely that the inquest would not be finalised until well into next year.
He said it must also be a long wait for the Assistant Commissioner, a proud officer with an impressive record of service.
Former detective Dennis Martyn has levelled a string of claims against Mr Condon, including that he abused his position by colluding with other officers to try to stop Mr Martyn and another former officer, Kenneth King, giving evidence at the inquest.
During the inquest Mr Condon defended the way he ran the investigation.
Mr Martyn said he had not had any updates from the CCC regarding the misconduct investigation.
While Daniel's killer, Brett Peter Cowan, is serving a life sentence, the inquest was reopened at the request of the family to assess the adequacy of the police response and examine what lessons had been learnt.
The long-running inquest first began in 2010, seven years after 13-year-old Daniel disappeared from a Sunshine Coast bus stop.
At the time, the investigation into Daniel's disappearance had stalled and the Morcombes had fought hard for an inquest, which would allow a coroner to question some of the 33 persons of interest.
Cowan, a suspect in Daniel's disappearance since early in the investigation, appeared at the inquest in 2011 after being flown in from Perth, where he'd been living at the time. On his way home, he would sit next to an undercover police officer.
It was the beginning of what would become an elaborate covert investigation involving dozens of police officers posing as members of a criminal gang.
After months of work, the covert officers extracted a confession from Cowan, and a massive search at a Sunshine Coast macadamia farm uncovered Daniel's remains.