WA CLAREMONT SERIAL KILLINGS TRIAL DELAYED
October 22, 2019
The lengthy trial for the alleged Claremont serial killer has been pushed back one week after he admitted attacks on two women, including twice raping a 17-year-old girl at a Perth cemetery.
Bradley Robert Edwards, 50, was scheduled to face a nine-month trial in the West Australian Supreme Court starting next month, but in a shocking development on Monday he pleaded guilty to five of eight charges.
He admitted abducting and raping a 17-year-old girl at Karrakatta Cemetery in 1995, and breaking into a Huntingdale home in 1988 where he attacked an 18-year-old woman in her bed as her parents slept in a nearby room.
The former Telstra worker maintains he is innocent of murdering Sarah Spiers, 18, Jane Rimmer, 23, and Ciara Glennon, 27, who were all last seen in the affluent suburb's entertainment strip between 1996 and 1997.
During the second day of a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday, Justice Stephen Hall said the trial, which was now expected to be cut by at least three months, would start on November 25.
Witnesses will include experts from overseas.
The so-called "Huntingdale prowler" allegations about women's garments being stolen from clotheslines and crimes committed near Edwards' home fell away after the admissions, prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo said, but they went to Edwards' credibility.
She said he also lied about the Karrakatta attack.
The pre-trial hearing largely focused on the prosecution's "emotional upset" theory that the murders coincided with major moments in the breakdown of Edwards' first marriage after his wife had an affair.
They included his wife's refusal to watch Australia Day fireworks with Edwards hours before Ms Spiers vanished, her revelation she was having a baby with another man shortly before Ms Rimmer was murdered, and the sale of the matrimonial home days before Ms Glennon was killed.
But defence counsel Paul Yovich argued trying to asses the impact of emotional turmoil was "a matter of guesswork".
Justice Hall has reserved his decision on the theory, and said DNA and fibre analysis reports must be disclosed by December 6.
It is alleged fibres from Telstra work trousers were found on Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon, and on clothes from the Karrakatta rape victim.
Fibres from the same make and model as Edwards' work car were also found on Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon.
Edwards' DNA was allegedly found on a silk kimono left behind at the Huntingdale house, on the cemetery rape victim and under Ms Glennon's fingernails.
He was charged in December 2016 after DNA on the kimono was re-tested.
The remains of Ms Glennon, a lawyer, and Ms Rimmer, a child care worker, were discovered in bushland at opposite ends of Perth weeks after their murders, both with some form of neck injury.
But the body of Ms Spiers, a secretary, has never been found.
Edwards will be sentenced for the five admitted offences, including aggravated burglary and two counts of deprivation of liberty, after the triple murder trial is complete.
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