Daniel Morcombe
Daniel Morcombe

Gympie woman witnessed 'violent' Daniel struggle: court

11.30AM LATEST: A Gympie woman has recalled witnessing "violent" and  "fast" movements in the back of a blue sedan as she drove on the Nambour Connection Road.

Belinda Russell told the court she was driving with her husband and two children on December  7, 2003.

She said she saw a man in the back seat of a blue sedan her punching downwards into the car's cabin.

"It was continual, violent and quite fast," she said.

Mrs Russell said she saw arms and a shoe come up "in a defensive action", trying to kick the person away.

She said the driver did not seem to be disturbed about what was going on in the back.

Mrs Russell said the struggle stopped quite abruptly before the car turned into a side street.

Mrs Russell said she looked in the car for a pen.

But when she tried to write down the number plate of the car where the struggle occurred, the pen wouldn't work.

Mrs Russell said she imprinted the number plate details on a shopping docket but at the end of the day she threw it away.

The committal hearing has been adjourned for the day.

The court heard the final two witnesses would give evidence on Thursday.

The committal hearing will then be adjourned until February.

10.45AM UPDATE: AFTER  seeing a boy in a situation that "did not gel right" on the roadside, Kim Guthrie wanted to pull over.

But traffic on the Nambour Connection Road prevented her from pulling off on December 7, 2003.

Ms Gutherie told the court this morning she saw a blue sedan on the roadside near the Kiel Mountain Road overpass.

She said she saw a boy and another person on the side of the road.

Mrs Guthrie said it seemed the man was trying to get the boy back in the car.

"It did not seem right," she said.

"I was with my husband and said 'what was going on back there'.

"I couldn't get off the road to pull over.

"I intended too. I am a mum, something did not gel right there."

9.50AM: A MAN has recounted how a young boy asked for his help in a NSW coastal town in 2004 before saying he was Daniel Morcombe.

Bernard Rumbel told the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning via video link from Port Macquarie about coming across the boy.

Mr Rumbel said he took his son to a shop in Port Macquarie in September 2004 to get an icy pole and lollies.

He said he was waiting for his son outside the shop when a young boy spoke to him.

"As I was walking into the shop, just inside the shop, a young boy come up and asked me, 'can you help me?'," he said.

"I said 'what's wrong mate?'

Mr Rumbel said a man then came up and said something "abrupt" to the boy.

"He gave me a stern look and I looked at his eyes and he was looking daggers at me," he told the court.

Mr Rumbel said the young boy said 'my name is Daniel Morcombe'.

Mr Rumbel said he only thought to tell police about his encounter after seeing a photo on a pizza box.

"..I read what was on the pizza box and I realised that was the same boy as far as I was concerned, I was talking to and the same name."

Lawyers want Morcombe murder accused to skip court

LAWYERS for Brett Peter Cowan have asked if the accused can skip coming to court on Thursday in favor of appearing by audio visual link from jail.

Defence lawyer Tim Meehan asked Chief Magistrate Brendan Butler if his client could appear via video link as a matter of convenience.

Mr Meehan said there would only be two witnesses giving evidence on Thursday.

Mr Butler said he would consider it if there was a compelling reason why Cowan could not appear in court.

"...but if it's just a matter of convenience and given the nature of proceedings..." he said.

"Although video link proceedings are preferred and encouraged in bail and remand, it's not usual in relation to committal proceedings and I think in the circumstances, I won't make an order."