Long hours worth it says lawyer
COAST lawyer Peter Boyce has never counted the hundreds of hours he has spent poring over the police investigation into Daniel Morcombe's disappearance.
But his dedication to helping the Morcombe family through the coronial inquest process - working weekends and late nights while maintaining his usual workload - has been unwavering.
From counselling the family about legal processes to putting questions to persons of interest on behalf of the family, the Nambour father-of-six has been by their side each step of the way.
Mr Boyce was at a football game with family in Brisbane on Saturday when he received a phone call from Bruce Morcombe to say an arrest had been made.
He said he was both shocked and relieved to hear the news.
"It was always worth it," he said of the time he had devoted to the Morcombe's cause.
"The inquest has been a very revealing process, not just because of the fact this fellow has been charged but to see precisely who is out there and how bad some of them were.
"That was the most striking thing about it. The positive thing about it is that Bruce and Denise always had faith they just needed a small break or that skerrick of evidence that might identify the person responsible.
"I think in that respect, the inquest has been invaluable.
"The third benefit has been the family able to see first-hand how the investigation had been conducted to that point.
"It's been very revealing and enlightening in a lot of respects."
Mr Boyce said Bruce Morcombe had always been stoic, showed dogged strength and a remarkable appreciation of legal processes.
"I think the inquest process was a great way for an independent review to be carried out as to whether all that could be done was done.
"I have always admired Bruce.
"When there were some things we needed to question, Bruce would say that we were all on the same side. That they expected some bumps along the way and they're never insurmountable.
"To be able to understand the system to that level and extent was admirable and it was a privilege to be around them."
Mr Boyce now hopes the people who support the Morcombes will take a leaf out of their book and let the legal process play out.
"The fact a person has been charged is a great result so far," he said. "But in our legal system he's entitled to his rights and we have to let that play out.
"The last thing anyone needs to do is to jeopardise any of the prosecution process."