Prosecutors in Claremont serial killings case to reveal key evidence against Bradley Edwards
Bradley Robert Edwards is due to face a nine-month judge-alone trial starting in July. (Facebook: KLAC)
The man accused of the Claremont serial killings is due in the Supreme Court today for a directions hearing at which key pre-trial issues are expected to be argued.
- Prosecutors want to include what is called “propensity evidence” at the trial
- They say “stories of interest” were written or downloaded by the accused
- Bradley Edwards is expected to be brought to court from prison for the hearing
Is the first time the public will get an insight into the argument prosecutors are planning to mount that Bradley Robert Edwards is the killer who has eluded police for more than two decades.
Mr Edwards, 50, is accused of murdering Sarah Spiers, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon, who all disappeared from the Claremont entertainment strip in 1996 and 1997.
He is also accused of attacks on two other women in 1988 and 1995, and has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.
Mr Edwards is due to face a nine-month judge-alone trial starting in July.
Mr Edwards, a former Little Athletics volunteer, was arrested at his home in late 2016. (Facebook: KLAC)
Prosecutors are expected to argue at today’s hearing that what is called “propensity evidence” should be included as part of the case against him.
Propensity evidence is that which is not directly related to the alleged crimes, but might show past conduct relevant to the case.
Suppression bid withdrawn
Defence lawyers are opposing the application by prosecutors.
The defence team had flagged it would be seeking to suppress publication of all, or parts of, the hearing, but that application was withdrawn last week.
Sarah Spiers, Ciara Glennon and Jane Rimmer vanished from Claremont in 1996 and 1997. (ABC News)
The directions hearing, which is scheduled to run for two or three days, is also expected to deal with Mr Edwards’s application for two of the charges against him to be dealt with at a separate trial.
Mr Edwards is expected to be brought into court from Hakea Prison for the hearing.
That would be a contrast to most of his other court appearances, where he has appeared via video link from Hakea, where he has been held since his arrest three day before Christmas in 2016.
Prosecutors flag ‘stories of interest’
It was revealed at a hearing in December last year that prosecutors wanted to lead evidence about “stories of interest” they argued were either “downloaded or authored” by Mr Edwards as part of their case against him.
The material was allegedly found when police analysed various electronic devices seized from Mr Edwards after his arrest at his Kewdale home.
Forensic police removed items from Mr Edwards’s Kewdale home after arresting him. (ABC News: Robert Koenig-Luck)
State prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo SC said at the time that “one or two of the stories” had already been disclosed to the defence.
But she said there were another “four or five” that were “of some interest” to prosecutors that would be provided at a later date.
Mr Edwards’s lawyer, Paul Yovich SC, foreshadowed at the time they would object to the admissibility of the material, saying in particular the defence wanted to know “the dates within which this material is said to have been created or accessed”.
The December hearing was told DNA and fibre evidence would also form a key part of the case against Mr Edwards.
Three deaths within 15 months
It has been more than 22 years since 18-year-old Ms Spiers vanished in the early hours of the morning on January 27, 1996, after a night out in Claremont.
She has never been found.
Five months later, Ms Rimmer, 23, disappeared from the same area. Her body was found almost a month later at Wellard, south of Perth.
Ciara Glennon then vanished in March 1997, also after a night out in Claremont.
Her body was found about two weeks later in bushland at Eglington, north of Perth.
Mr Edwards is also accused of attacking a woman in her own home in 1988 and of abducting and raping a 17-year-old girl in February 1995, less than a year before Ms Spiers disappeared.