A man jailed over unpaid hotel room bills and a bizarre robbery where he used his finger as a makeshift gun says he acted alone when he poured boiling water on Daniel Morcombe’s killer.
Adam Paul Davidson, 31, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court on Monday to torturing Brett Peter Cowan at the Wolston Correctional Centre on August 5, 2016.
On August 5 last year, Davidson poured boiling water over the head of Cowan, who was jailed for life after abducting and killing 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe on the Sunshine Coast in December 2003.
The court heard Davidson, 31, plotted and watched Cowan’s movements for a month to find the best way to harm him.
Prosecutor Mark Whitbread said Davidson poured a bucket of boiling water over Cowan’s head while the then 46-year-old was playing cards with other inmates at the Wolston Correctional Centre in Queensland.
He then struck Cowan in the head with the bucket three to four times.
Cowan received superficial burns to 15 per cent of his body, including on his head, chest and leg and was treated in hospital to prevent infection.
The child-killer was left left permanently disfigured.
The court heard Davidson got the idea to scald Cowan after he saw another prisoner bearing horrific scars and wearing a burn suit from a similar attack.
Davidson told investigators he attacked Cowan ‘for a little bit of retribution’ and he wanted him ‘to feel the pain like someone like Daniel Morcombe has felt’.
‘He would love that scarring to be on Cowan,’ Prosecutor Mark Whitbread said.
Judge Ian Dearden sentenced Davidson to three years’ jail on Monday, but with time already served he will be released on parole in late November.
‘I did it. Only me no one else was involved. He had it coming, he’s a f***king grub,’ Davidson said.
In sentencing Davidson on Monday, Judge Dearden said every person was entitled to be treated respectfully, no matter how appalling the crimes they had committed.
‘We are all precious human beings, it doesn’t matter who we are,’ Judge Dearden said.
‘You have no entitlement to act as a vigilante.’
Daniel Morcombe’s remains were found in August 2011 after an elaborate police operation prompted Cowan to confess and lead undercover officers to where he dumped Daniel’s body.
Cowan was found guilty of murder, indecent treatment of a child and interfering with a corpse.
The Morcombe family declined to be present for his sentencing, in which Supreme Court Judge Roslyn Atkinson spoke at length about Cowan’s crimes.
She described his crime as ‘entirely abhorrent.’
‘You didn’t look like a monster, you didn’t look like a paedophile, you looked like an ordinary person,’ she said.
‘You knew if he ran away, you’d be caught. So you killed him. You killed him because you didn’t want to get caught.
‘Everything you did to that boy is horrific and disgraceful. I’ve seen no evidence in the months you’ve been in this court that you ever felt any remorse for what you did.
‘You have tragically and pointlessly snuffed out a young life.’