THE man accused of abducting and murdering Daniel Morcombe stared into a Brisbane courtroom from the jail where he has been since his arrest almost a year ago.
Brett Peter Cowan, who now has short hair and was sporting prison greens, did not speak but his face was visible throughout the 10-minute mention in Brisbane Magistrates Court.
Daniel's father Bruce and his twin Brad were staring right back at the face before them.
Cowan's lawyer Tim Meehan asked the court for a directions hearing as he seeks to cross-examine 49 witnesses in the murder case.
The Crown has consented to 31 witnesses being questioned at a yet to be set committal hearing.
The court asked both the Crown and defence to prepare their submissions and any material they relied in the next few weeks.
A directions hearing has been set for September 5.
Outside court, Mr Meehan said there was vast amounts of material to sift through.
He said there was more than 100 binders, a hard drive with 900GB of data and 40-50 DVDs of material.
Mr Meehan said his client was faring as well as expected for someone who had been in jail for nearly a year.
He would not rule out a bail application in the Supreme Court.
Daniel Morcombe's father Bruce told media he had believed a committal hearing would be set for November or December but was losing hope.
He said he feared he would he would not receive Daniel's remains until a trial, which could be more than a year away.