Loathed child killer Brett Peter Cowan was left with skin peeling from his scalded face, blistered chest and bulging prison gut after being attacked with boiling water as retribution for the murder of schoolboy Daniel Morcombe.
The full extent of the gruesome burns suffered by the hated paedophile can be revealed for the first time, as can his attacker Adam Paul Davidson’s month-long plot to ‘scar the f**king grub for life’.
Cowan screamed in pain and pleaded ‘why, why, why?’ after Davidson poured boiling water over his head at Wolston Correctional Centre, south-west of Brisbane, in August last year.
Pictures of Cowan’s injuries seen by Daily Mail Australia show burnt skin falling off his face, right shoulder, right arm and stomach. The once skinny inmate is now seriously overweight.
Peter Brett Cowan, who abducted and murdered 13-year-old schoolboy Daniel Morcombe on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in December 2003, is shown here as he looked after being ‘hot watered’ by fellow prisoner Adam Paul Davidson last year
This artist’s representation shows how paedophile and child killer Brett Peter Cowan’s skin appeared to be melting off his body following the surprise attack by fellow inmate Adam Paul Davidson which left him in hospital with serious burns
Brett Peter Cowan, left, screamed ‘why, why, why?’ at Adam Paul Davidson, pictured right, but received no answer from his fellow prisoner after Davidson attacked him with boiling water in Wolston Correctional Centre in August last year
Adam Paul Davidson, 31, is seen here on Wednesday, after being paroled from Woodford Correctional Centre, 80km north of Brisbane; Davidson attacked paedophile Brett Peter Cowan with boiling water at another jail in August last year
A huge blister was forming on his upper back and angry red, raw skin was visible on his arms, belly and legs.
Cowan, now 48, appears a far sight from the lanky man who was jailed for life for the 2003 murder of 13-year-old Daniel on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. He now sports a large gut and much thicker arms and legs.
A number of his tattoos were damaged by the burns. A large skull wearing a top hat on Cowan’s right arm was covered by burnt skin and growing yellow blisters.
Text printed on the top right of his chest was also partially faded under raw skin from where the scalding water had run down.
Davidson, 31, admitted pouring a bucket of boiling water over the head of Cowan – known as ‘hot watering’ in jail – when he faced the District Court in October.
He was sentenced to three years’ jail for torture but walked free on parole from Woodford Correctional Centre north of Brisbane on Wednesday due to time already served.
An artist’s representation of father-of-four Adam Paul Davidson attacking paedophile Brett Peter Cowan with a bucketful of boiling water in a common area of Wolston Correctional Centre, south-west of Brisbane, on the morning of August 5 last year
Child killer Brett Peter Cowan, pictured here in prison greens, was attacked with boiling water by Adam Paul Davidson as prison payback for the abduction and murder of schoolboy Daniel Morcombe on the Sunshine Coast in December 2003
The court heard Davidson – in custody for robbery and fraud offences at the time – watched Cowan’s movements for a month and plotted the best way to harm the despised sex offender.
Cowan was playing cards with other inmates in a prison common area about 9.15am on Friday, August 5 last year. During a break in the game Cowan went briefly to an exercise yard where he saw Davidson standing outside the laundry door next to a hot water urn, filling a yellow mop bucket.
When Cowan returned to the card game Davidson asked another inmate to move the prisoners sitting near his target.
Davidson then quietly approached Cowan from behind with the bucket and tipped the boiling water over Cowan’s head and body.
Cowan immediately felt extreme pain coming over the top of his head and down his right side. He began screaming and stood up.
His attacker stood facing him, holding the bucket in his hands.
Davidson then hit Cowan in the head three or four times with the bucket, before the 46-year-old asked Davidson: ‘why, why, why?’ Davidson did not respond.
Instead, as Cowan tried to escape, Davidson threw the bucket at him.
‘I didn’t want to kill him or nothing, I just wanted to hurt him … just wanted him to feel the pain,’ Adam Paul Davidson told police after attacking Daniel Morcombe’s killer Brett Peter Cowan in a Brisbane jail; 13-year-old Daniel is pictured here
Daniel Morcombe’s killer Brett Peter Cowan, pictured before he was jailed for life for the 2003 abduction and murder of the 13-year-old boy on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast; he now sports a much larger gut, as well as heavier arms and legs
Father-of-four Adam Davidson, who poured boiling water over the head of Daniel Morcombe’s killer Brett Cowan, pictured shortly after being released on parole from Woodford Correctional Centre, north of Brisbane, on Wednesday
The pair was then separated, Cowan sent to his cell for a cold shower, and Davidson ordered to the kitchen, while all other inmates were sent to the exercise yard.
‘I did it boss,’ Davidson said. ‘Only me, no one else was involved. He had it coming. He is a f***ing grub.’
‘It’s only me involved chief, no one else. Only me and the f***ing grub deserved it.’
Detectives from the Corrective Services investigation unit arrived at the prison for an unrelated matter about 10am and spoke to Davidson who again freely admitted what he had done.
The father-of-four told them he was aware of Cowan’s offences and took it upon himself to deliver ‘a little bit of retribution’. He had planned the attack for a month.
‘So I thought, I can’t stay here, because I can’t live with these sexual predators,’ Davidson told detectives. ‘I can’t go anywhere else, so, I’m just going to get my own back.
‘And I’ve just been sort of observing his movements for the past month as figuring out what the best way possible is to do everything and then yeah, I did it.’
It was Cowan getting a job in the laundry, which meant him handling Davidson’s clothing, that finally ‘tipped me over the edge’, he said.
Father-of-four Adam Davidson pictured hours after his release from Woodford Correctional Centre, north of Brisbane, on Wednesday morning; Davidson attacked Daniel Morcombe’s killer Brett Cowan with boiling water in August last year
Schoolboy Daniel Morcombe, 13, was last seen alive near a bus stop on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast on December 7, 2003; his killer, Brett Cowan, was attacked with boiling water by Adam Davidson when they shared a jail in August last year
‘I didn’t want to kill him or nothing, I just wanted to hurt him … just wanted him to feel the pain,’ Davidson told police.
‘Feel the pain somebody like Daniel Morcombe has felt.’
When asked if he knew whether the water he poured got on Cowan’s face as intended, Davidson said ‘oh yeah’.
Police: ‘Did you actually see where the water went on Cowan? Where did it go, mate?’
Davidson: ‘Over the top of his head straight down the front of his face and over the front of him.’
Police: ‘Any on the back do you know? Or mostly on the front?’
Davidson: ‘Like I sort of poured it about forehead height and let it fall.’
Davidson told officers he had collected the mop bucket from the prison laundry, which was watched over by Corrective Services officers, and held it under the hot water urn until it was three quarters full.
The bucket was ‘there for anyone to use to clean’, and was locked away when officers left the area, he said.
Davidson told police he came up with the idea to ‘hot water’ Cowan after seeing horrific burn injuries on a fellow inmate.
‘We are all precious human beings, it doesn’t matter who we are,’ Judge Ian Dearden told Adam Paul Davidson, pictured, when sentencing him for attacking Brett Cowan with boiling water at Wolston Correctional Centre in August last year
Annette Fallbrown, the mother of Adam Paul Davidson, said her 31-year-old son was ‘certainly no hero’ for attacking child killer Brett Peter Cowan with boiling water when the two inmates were in the same prison in August last year
‘There was another guy that’s in my unit now … who had a similar thing happen to him in another unit in Australia … he’s a friend of mine and he has a horrific scar,’ Davidson said.
‘He’s got the body suit on now because he was “hot watered” himself.
‘And I’ve seen the scarring and I thought “I’d like for that scarring to be on Cowan’s face”. So that’s what gave me the idea to do the hot water.’
Cowan’s injuries covered 15 per cent of his body.
In sentencing Davidson last month, Judge Ian 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 told Davidson.
‘You have no entitlement to act as a vigilante.’
On the eve of Davidson’s release from the Queensland prison, his mother Annette Fallbrown, said the former tattoo artist should never have been left in a position to attack Cowan. The hot water incident had made his life in jail even worse.
‘He’s been in lockdown for 12 months over what he did to Cowan,’ Ms Fallbrown said.
Adam Paul Davidson, who tipped a bucket of boiling water over the head of Daniel Morcombe’s killer Brett Peter Cowan in Queensland’s Wolston Correctional Centre, did not want to be placed in custody anywhere near the hated paedophile
Schoolboy Daniel Morcombe was abducted by paedophile Brett Peter Cowan from a bus stop on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in December 2003; the 13-year-old’s remains were not found until after Cowan was arrested almost eight years later
Brett Peter Cowan was arrested in August 2011, almost eight years after Daniel Morcombe disappeared. Currently serving a life sentence for murder, the reviled paedophile had two previous convictions for sexually assaulting children
‘Just because of what he’s done to Cowan he’s been put on a dangerous offenders list.
‘He’s done it extremely tough. There’s a lot that the press don’t know and nobody knows. And it won’t be brought out.’
‘They should never have put Cowan back in there and they should never have put him near someone like Adam’, Davidson’s stepfather Mark Fallbrown said.
Ms Fallbrown’s stepfather Mark also believed his stepson should never have been in the same part of any prison as Cowan.
‘They should never have put Cowan back in there and they should never have put him near someone like Adam,’ Mr Fallbrown said.
The 57-year-old said his stepson had serious psychological problems and had complained about being near Cowan.
‘He was telling us: ”I can’t handle being around this guy” for six weeks and they let it happen,’ he said.
‘I believe they were aware of it.
‘Alarm bells should have gone off but obviously they didn’t do anything.’
Cowan was arrested in August 2011, almost eight years after Daniel’s disappearance.
Currently serving a life sentence for murder, he had two previous convictions for sexually assaulting children.
Daniel disappeared near a bus stop on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in December 2003.
Cowan was arrested almost eight years later and found guilty of murder, indecent treatment of a child and interfering with a corpse.
‘They should never have put Cowan back in there and they should never have put him near someone like Adam,’ Adam’s stepfather Mark Fallbrown told Daily Mail Australia on the eve of Davidson’s release from Woodford Correctional Centre