Daniel Morcombe.
Daniel Morcombe.

Morcombe suspect lived in CQ

A PRIME suspect in the abduction and murder of Sunshine Coast teenager Daniel Morcombe escaped to Central Queensland six months after the youngster disappeared.

The convicted pedophile, known as P7, left his wife and young child on the Sunshine Coast to move in with a new girlfriend he met while working at Moranbah in May 2004.

Giving evidence last week at a coronial inquest into Daniel's disappearance, P7 said he had planned to leave his wife for his new girlfriend over several weeks.

The court heard that P7 looked identical to sketches drawn from witness descriptions of a man seen standing near Daniel before the 13-year-old disappeared in 2003.

P7 told the court he had changed his appearance in the year after Daniel disappeared.

He lived and worked in Moranbah for some time before he left his girlfriend.

While it was not made clear just when P7 left Central Queensland, he did say he currently lived in Perth.

The man has a history of abducting young boys from public areas and molesting them.

In 1987, P7 was performing community service at a playground in Brisbane when he took a seven-year-old boy into a toilet and molested him.

In 1993, P7 lived at a Darwin caravan park when a six-year-old boy came asking if P7 knew where his sister was.

P7 took the boy out into the bush and molested him on an upturned car.

Horrific details emerged about the little boy's injuries, where P7 had thrown the boy after he assaulted him.

Doctors said the six-year-old almost died from a punctured lung and had bruises and haemorrhaged eyes that indicated he had been choked.

P7 told police he drove on Nambour Connection Road at the time Daniel was waiting for a bus on December 7, 2003.

Counsel assisting the coroner, Peter Johns, put to P7 that he murdered the 13-year-old, too.

“To have us believe you didn't see (Daniel) is like suggesting that a snake might slide past an injured mouse and take no notice,” Mr Johns said.

He said Daniel Morcombe was the only case in Queensland in P7's lifetime where a juvenile boy had been abducted and neither his body nor perpetrator found.

“As of December, 2003, you were one of the very few people in Queensland, if not Australia, who had a criminal history of kidnapping and sexually assaulting young boys,” Mr Johns said.

“You, with this extensive history of kidnapping boys … happen to be in the very place at the very time that this once-in-a-lifetime event occurs. Unbelievably unlucky, would you agree?”

P7 replied: “Yep.”

“I was not involved in Daniel's disappearance,” P7 said.

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