No appeal against Claremont killer Bradley Edwards’s not guilty verdict for Sarah Spiers murder

Claremont killer Bradley Edwards’s acquittal of the murder of Sarah Spiers will not be challenged by the state, prosecutors have revealed.

Edwards, a former Telstra technician, was last month found guilty of the wilful murders of Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon in the 1990s.

But he was found not guilty of the 1996 murder of 18-year-old Sarah Spiers, who also disappeared from the suburb of Claremont in similar circumstances, but whose body has never been found.

In his judgement, Justice Stephen Hall acknowledged the similarities between the three murders, but said there was not enough evidence for a third conviction.

“The propensity evidence makes it more likely that the accused was the killer of Sarah Spiers, but it cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt, in the absence of any other evidence, as to the identity of her killer,” Justice Hall ruled.

The prosecution had 21 days to appeal against that decision, but today confirmed it will not do so, marking the end of the line for the Spiers family who had hoped the long-running trial would deliver them justice.

Without an appeal, their only hope of a conviction over Ms Spiers’ murder is the discovery of new evidence that would prompt a fresh trial.

Retrial possible only if new evidence found

Senior criminal barrister Linda Black said if any new evidence pointed to Edwards as the killer, he could be retried after changes to WA’s “double jeopardy” laws in 2012.

“Double jeopardy is the common law notion that you can’t be tried twice for the same offence,” Ms Black said.

Sarah Spiers vanished after a night out in Claremont in 1996 and her body has never been found.(Supplied)

“That’s actually changed, so in very serious cases such as murder, where the evidence wasn’t available at the time and where it’s compelling, someone like the Attorney General John Quigley, or the Director of Public Prosecutions can go to the Court of Appeal and seek permission to try him again.

“So that is always a possibility.”

However, she said any new evidence would have to be particularly strong.

“I would have thought in this case the discovery of Sarah’s body, if there was then forensic findings that enabled to fill in the gap that his honour Justice Hall was not able to fill, that would meet the standard potentially,” Ms Black said.

Search for Sarah’s body goes on

When the verdicts were handed down, police commissioner Chris Dawson said police would never give up trying to locate Ms Spiers’ body.

“We will continue to investigate the murder of Sarah Spiers,” Commissioner Dawson said.

“We want to find Sarah, and we will.”

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WA Premier issues plea to Claremont killer Bradley Edwards

At the same time, Premier Mark McGowan also appealed to Edwards directly to reveal anything he might know about the location of her body.

“If you know where Sarah Spiers is, can you please tell us,” he said last month.

“Can you please provide some closure to the Spiers family to let them know where their daughter is. At times like this, it’s the time to do the right thing by the family,”

Edwards is due to be sentenced in December for the murders of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon, as well as violent, sexually motivated attacks on two other women.

He will then have 21 days to lodge his own appeal against the guilty verdicts. However, that window could be extended to allow for the Christmas and New Year break.

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MAFS Susie Bradley, Todd Carney engagement: NRL star proposes

Married At First Sight star Susie Bradley has confirmed she is engaged to NRL star Todd Carney.

Bradley shared the exciting news with her Instagram followers on Tuesday with behind-the-scenes video of the former rugby league bad boy being interviewed for TV.

After her ill-fated marriage with barista Billy Vincent on the hit Channel 9 show, Bradley was spotted out in public with Carney as early as March, 2019.

The on-again-off-again couple recently got back together at the end of 2019 and it appears the pair can’t live without each other.

Preliminary Final

Bradley confirmed the swirling engagement rumours that have followed them in recent weeks when she referred to Carney as her “fiance” in an Instagram clip posted Tuesday.

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Time for the Big Guns: The Bradley Will Be Armed With the XM913 Cannon

Key point: The Bradley vehicle served decently despite a very controversial development history. Could it soon be getting a firepower upgrade?

Jane’s Information Group, an open source intelligence company, reported that Northrop Grumman delivered several prototype guns to the U.S. Army for their Bradley replacement vehicle—and what they delivered looks like a beast.

Previous photos released by Northrop Grumman show the XM913 50mm cannon outdoors, silhouetted against the sky. The massive 50mm main gun is said to have two types of ammunition, a fin-stabilized armor piercing sabot round, as well as a high explosive tracer round. To offset some of the no doubt massive recoil the massive gun would generate, the XM913’s barrel features a prominent four-baffle muzzle brake—though a quick google search shows that the main gun still has lots of recoil. 

While the current Bradley vehicle’s 25mm cannon can hit targets at ranges of up to two kilometers, or about 1.2 miles, Northrop Grumman maintains that their XM913 has double the range of a 25mm gun—and can hit targets up to four kilometers away.

A Northrop Grumman spokesman told Jane’s that the 50mm cannon “combines Bushmaster chain gun reliability with [a] next-generation effective range that will provide the warfighter with increased stand-off against near peer adversaries,” though what platform the massive main gun will be mated to remained slightly ambiguous.

Jane’s reported that the 50mm cannon is being developed to support the Army’s Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) program, one of several projects that the Army says are intended to replace the Bradley family of vehicles. But the main gun could also be used to increase other platform’s lethality as well.

Into Modernity

The Army is in the middle of a modernization push and is introducing several new armored platforms into service. One of these, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle manufactured by BAE systems, recently entered serial production.

Though it does offer increased protection when compared to the M113 and Bradley vehicles, it appears to be rather modestly armed with a single .50 caliber heavy machine gun. It remains unclear if the XM913 would be able to be mated to the AMPV platform, though the Army would likely want a firepower upgrade for the platform.


Northrop Grumman estimates that by the end of 2021, the Army will have ordered a total of seventeen XM913 cannons for testing and evaluation. Still, the Army has not yet decided what caliber the NGCV program will choose. So for now, all we can do is wait and see what happens. Watch this topic for new details about both the NGCV program—and the XM913—in the future.

Caleb Larson is a defense writer with The National Interest. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture. This first appeared earlier this year and is being reposted due to reader interest.

Image: Reuters

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AFL finals 2020: Semi finals analysis, Talking Points, reaction, top stories, Richmond being hated, Bradley Hill, trade news, Brad Crouch

Another week, another Richmond controversy. But the Tigers’ new-found status seems to be helping them.

Plus the reason behind a finals trade flop and the potential for a historic draft haul.

Catch up on the big storylines out of semi-final weekend in’s Talking Points.

Watch the 2020 Toyota AFL Finals Series on Kayo with every game before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

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PLATELL’S PEOPLE: Lover-boy Bradley Wiggins may be riding for a fall… 

Barely five months after cycling hero Sir Bradley Wiggins announced he and his wife of 16 years had decided to separate, he tells the world he is all ‘loved up’ with a blonde PR girl.

In his ‘separation tweet’ (so hideously fashionable for the famous these days) back in May, the five-time Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France winner said that he and Cath’s two children — Ben, 14, and Isabella, 12 — ‘remain our priority and we ask for privacy’.

Some privacy, Brad, when your ‘friends’ are now briefing the newspapers that you’ve moved in with Laura Hartshorne. The pair are said to have bonded instantly as she’s ‘no stranger to the celebrity scene . . . and she loves a good party which fits in more with Bradley’s lifestyle now’.

Yet what shocked me the most was when he said: ‘I probably always used to put other people first. [Now] I have been able to realise that I also deserve my own happiness.’

Being a top sportsman or woman is among the most selfish careers of all: it goes with the job. Some people might doubt how much Brad really has ‘put other people first’.

Barely five months after cycling hero Sir Bradley Wiggins (left) announced he and his wife of 16 years (right) had decided to separate, he tells the world he is all ‘loved up’ with a blonde PR girl

This is the same local hero whose once-glittering career is beset by allegations of performance-enhancing drugs, which he vehemently denies.

As for what he really ‘deserves’ — many might look back to the explosive parliamentary report two years ago which suggested that Brad had taken a powerful corticosteroid — under the guise of treating a legitimate medical condition — before the Tour de France. Cath stood by him when the parliamentary committee accused him of crossing an ethical line in taking the drug for ‘asthma’.

Perhaps it is a salutary tale for all long-serving wives. Beware a man accused of obfuscating in his career: he may also play fast and loose in his personal life.

Maybe she should have realised then that her husband was, if not a drug cheat, then certainly a man who was comfortable bending the rules.

Brad is understood to have moved moved in with Laura Hartshorne (pictured) after they 'bonded instantly'

Brad is understood to have moved moved in with Laura Hartshorne (pictured) after they ‘bonded instantly’

Brad’s halo slipped that day — no mean feat, given those ridiculous sideburns. Yet questions still remain about his integrity. He denies he took that drug to boost his performance: did he also insist to Cath that he had nothing to declare in his private life?

To leap from the marital home into his girlfriend’s flat so suddenly might lead some to question exactly how long he’d known loved-up Laura. (It’s said they met ‘a few months ago’.)

Yes, marriages break down — but it’s how a marriage ends that lingers for ever. In the end it’s not we, the public, who will judge Brad’s actions, but his children.

Meanwhile, Brad should pray that Cath doesn’t say anything new about the contents of the mysterious Jiffy bag delivered to him at a race in 2011. If she were ever to claim that it contained something other than the decongestant that Brad and Team Sky claimed — well, some revenge that would be.

Kenny, it’s time to let go-go

Eleven years after George Michael and his one-time lover Kenny Goss separated and four years since the Wham! singer died, Goss is now suing George’s £100 million estate for £15,000-a-month spousal maintenance.

The multi-million-pound art collection that George set him up with is no longer enough, and the American now claims he is entitled to be provided for in the style to which he became accustomed while the pop star was alive.

George once sang about Club Tropicana — but Goss wants the drinks to be free for the rest of his life.

Prince William announced the singer Shakira (pictured) was among the judges gifting environmentalists funds for their ideas to rescue the planet

Prince William announced the singer Shakira (pictured) was among the judges gifting environmentalists funds for their ideas to rescue the planet

Caring Shakira 

Eyebrows were raised when, launching his £50 million green ‘Earthshot’ prize project with David Attenborough, Prince William announced the singer Shakira was among judges gifting environmentalists funds for their ideas to rescue the planet.

A cheap grab at stardom this was not. The Colombian-born pop star has a proud record creating the Barefoot Foundation, which funds schools for poor children in her homeland.

Perhaps William learned a trick from his mother, Princess Diana, that when it comes to effecting change, there is no more powerful combination than celebrity and compassion.

Having regained 7½st she lost after her divorce from Lenny Henry, Dawn French, 62, says she’s glad to be ‘a barrel again’ and doesn’t ‘give a f***’ about her weight. Jolly good, if the only person who has to live with a woman’s body is the woman herself. Yet one can’t help but wonder if second hubby Mark Bignell might have views on all this. If any husband had gained half his body weight since his wedding, might his wife not have the right to turn around and say: ‘Why not skip the second Cornish pasty, love?’ 

Mouthy Davina McCall is the new host of the revamped Changing Rooms. To which I can only say: lock your front doors! Given that the ex-Big Brother presenter’s taste has so far extended to his-and-hers Jacuzzis, lip-shaped sofas and a colour range from puce to purple, I think we’ll all be changing channels. 

Ex-Big Brother presenter Davina McCall is the new host of the revamped Changing Rooms

Ex-Big Brother presenter Davina McCall is the new host of the revamped Changing Rooms

Who would not be awed by Oxford physics Professor Sir Roger Penrose, who won the Nobel Prize for having proved the existence of black holes? The 89-year-old is a joy, even if I can’t understand a word he says about cosmology, which I thought was what Oscar Cainer does in this paper (I’m a Scorpio). For most of us, a black hole is the moment you learn your husband has left you. 

Westminster wars 

  • Rumour was the job fronting No 10’s new White House-inspired daily televised press briefings had gone to a feisty, self-promoting, thirty-something blonde with close links to the PM. Much disappointment when it turned out to be the blue-stockinged Allegra Stratton and not that spicy Californian, Jennifer Arcuri.
  • If we’re all in this together, perhaps MPs should forgo their £3,360 pay rise, taking their salaries to £85,292. That’s about four times the pay of a care worker — and they don’t get to Zoom into work.
  • Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham says the Government is being ‘downright disrespectful’ after locking down much of the North of England. The only disrespect Andy is showing is to his suspiciously plucked eyebrows. Let that monobrow grow, Andy! 
  • Boris proudly boasts he lost nearly 2st after catching Covid. Well done, Bojo, just four more to go!

Sell 007’s budgie smugglers 

More than half a century after Ursula Andress emerged from the sea in Dr No as Honey Ryder, becoming the most iconic Bond girl ever, her ivory bikini is expected to fetch £400,000 at auction.

The current rather creaky 007 should take note.

Daniel Craig doesn’t need the money — he’s said to be worth £120 million — so surely it’s high time he sold off for charity his old blue budgie smugglers from Casino Royale.

The scene where Ursula Andress emerged from the sea in Dr No as Honey Ryder made her 'the most iconic Bond girl ever'. Now the ivory bikini she wore (pictured) is expected to fetch £400,000 at auction

The scene where Ursula Andress emerged from the sea in Dr No as Honey Ryder made her ‘the most iconic Bond girl ever’. Now the ivory bikini she wore (pictured) is expected to fetch £400,000 at auction

A study into how to befriend cats concludes they respond lovingly when you ‘smize’ at them, which means creasing your face and eyes into a smile while slowly blinking.

I tried this with my rescue moggy Teddy, with whom I normally communicate via smooches and cat-to-human talk (he meows: ‘Hi Mandy,’ and I reply: ‘Hi Ted.’)

When I ‘smized’ at him, he whacked me in the face — no claws, just an open paw of indignation.

From which I must conclude that the survey was conducted by dog-owners. 

Dad the real hero 

How glorious to see more than 400 doctors and nurses who fought the front-line battle against Covid being remembered in the Honours List.

But the interior decorator Kelly Hoppen getting a CBE? What has the world come to? That’s a rank above the OBE my pop, Charles Platell, was awarded after he volunteered, aged 37, to fight for King and Country in Alexandria, Egypt, during World War II.

Men like him fought and died for freedom — not so some broad could re-cover sofas. 

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Lakers’ Bradley opts out of NBA’s restart, cites son’s health

FILE PHOTO: Cleveland Cavaliers’ rookie Kyrie Irving (R) dribbles around Boston Celtics’ defender Avery Bradley during the second quarter of their NBA basketball game in Cleveland January 31, 2012. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

June 24, 2020

The Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers will be without a starter when the NBA season resumes, as guard Avery Bradley announced Tuesday that he will not join the team next month in central Florida.

Bradley told ESPN that his decision was made out of concern for the health of his 6-year-old son, Liam, who has dealt with respiratory problems. Bradley and his wife have three children.

After a four-month hiatus prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA will send the top 22 of its 30 teams to the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. Training camp is due to run July 9-29 with games to commence on July 30.

“As committed to my Lakers teammates and the organization as I am, I ultimately play basketball for my family,” Avery Bradley said, per ESPN. “And so, at a time like this, I can’t imagine making any decision that might put my family’s health and well-being at even the slightest risk.

“As promised also, I will use this time away to focus on the formation of projects to help strengthen my communities.”

Last week, Bradley joined with Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving in fronting a coalition of NBA players asking the league and the players union to focus on social reform and anti-racism causes.

The rules of the paused season will allow the Lakers to replace Bradley on the roster, and multiple media outlets reported that free agent JR Smith could be a top target.

Smith won an NBA championship alongside current Lakers star LeBron James in 2015-16. However, the 34-year-old veteran last appeared in an NBA game in November 2018.

Bradley, 29, averaged 8.6 points and 2.3 rebounds for the Lakers in 49 games (44 starts) this season. He missed 13 games in November and December due to a hairline fracture in his right leg.

A 2010 first-round pick of the Celtics (19th overall) out of Texas, Bradley played seven seasons in Boston before splitting the past three seasons between the Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and the Lakers.

(Field Level Media)

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Rugby Star Ugo Monye leaves The Chase’s Bradley Walsh speechless with savage dig

The Chase Celebrity Special saw rugby star Ugo Monye face chaser Anne Hegerty in a general knowledge battle to raise money for charity.

And Ugo also managed to take cocky host Bradley Walsh down a peg or two when he made a savage jibe about the presenter’s height.

Playing alongside other celebs including Mariella Frostrup, John Sargeant and Ranvir Singh, Ugo also revealed he has a tattoo on his backside and he does not even know what it says.

The question was: “Which of these is a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip?”

Ugo’s cheeky dig had the audience in fits of giggles

Ugo answered A) Mandalay Bay, and revealed: “I’ve been nine times and I’ve got a tattoo, me and a few of the lads got a tattoo.”

“What does it say?” asked Bradley.

“I couldn’t say, I genuinely couldn’t say, it’s on my backside, my mum has just found out which is nice, it will live with me forever now which is not a great thing,” said Ugo, as the audience were in hysterics.

Bradley was not impressed at the dig about his height

Later on, the question was: “What classification of planet did the International Astronomical Union introduce in 2006?”

Guessing “dwarf planet”, Ugo explained: “I just heard Ranvir talking about you being small, and I had that in my head.”

Bradley feigned fury as the audience cheered and whooped.

And viewers were crazy about Ugo and his one-liners, with one tweeting: “I would certainly be chasing Ugo #thechase#itv “.

#UgoMonye on #TheChase Chase me lol” joked another.

Another tweeted him directly saying: ” @ugomonye Just watching you on The Chase. That must be on hell of a tattoo of Mandalay Bay hotel on your a**e.”

* The Chase airs on weekdays on ITV at 5pm

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Claremont serial killer ‘unmasked’, prosecutors say, as marathon case against Bradley Edwards ends

“Bradley Robert Edwards, we say, is the Claremont serial killer.”

With those words, the state has wrapped up its case in the WA Supreme Court in the triple-murder trial of Edwards, 51, for the so-called Claremont serial killings.

The long-running trial opened in November last year and has heard from more than 200 witnesses and taken up tens of thousands of pages of transcript.

Summing up, state prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo SC said the case was based on logic and on evidence.

She said there were a plethora of “compelling” reasons to convict Edwards of the wilful murders of Sarah Spiers, 18, Jane Rimmer, 23, and Ciara Glennon, 27.

Edwards denies murdering the three women.

‘Enigma of the dark’ solved, court told

Ms Barbagallo said in her opening address the state had promised to shed light on an “enigma of the dark” who preyed upon vulnerable women as they left Claremont at night, and it was the forensic evidence that had enabled that to happen.

A mid-shot of Claremont prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo outside court wearing a black jacket and pink and blue scarf.
Claremont prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo SC says Edwards told a plethora of “blatant lies”.(ABC News: Charlotte Hamlyn)

“The physical evidence has shed light on and unmasked the killer sought by so many and for so long,” she told Justice Stephen Hall.

“Critically there is no evidence … which is inconsistent with the accused man being the murderer of these three young women.”

She said this evidence included Edwards’s DNA being found “on, under or around” two of Ms Glennon’s fingernails, fibres found on Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon that matched his Telstra-issued clothing and car, and the marked similarities in their manner of death and the disposal of their bodies.

Both likely died from having their throats cut, Ms Barbagallo said, and both bodies were disposed of in bushland areas 45 kilometres from Claremont, with each partially concealed by vegetation.

Edwards’s previous behaviour in abducting and raping a 17-year-old girl as she walked alone from Claremont late at night in 1995 — the year before Ms Spiers and Ms Rimmer vanished — and his unprovoked ambush-style attacks on two other women in 1988 and 1990 showed he had both a tendency and the ability to overpower and attack vulnerable women, she said.

Edwards lied about crimes he later admitted

Ms Barbagallo said the “compelling motive” for the women’s murders went beyond his own gratification and was likely because he wanted to conceal his identity, so the women he attacked could not identify him.

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A timeline of the Claremont serial killings

He had also intended to kill the teenager he raped at Karrakatta Cemetery in 1995, but she escaped before he could do so, Ms Barbagallo said.

She said Edwards told a plethora of “outrageous, blatant lies” in his police interview, parts of which were shown to the court earlier in the trial, including his “self-serving denials” to the crimes he was accused of.

These included a number of offences he subsequently admitted, including the Karrakatta rape and his attack on an 18-year-old as she slept at her parent’s home in Huntingdale in 1988.

Ms Barbagallo said his “expressions of surprise, denial and bewilderment” when confronted with these crimes were “indistinguishable” from the expressions he made when the murder allegations were put to him.

“Whichever way you look at it … there is no rational evidence that can be drawn other than this accused, Bradley Robert Edwards, was the person who abducted and murdered three young women,” she said.

Defence counsel Paul Yovich is expected to start his closing submissions later today.

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Trial of alleged Claremont serial killer Bradley Edwards resumes closing submissions after delay

A tiny fragment of DNA lodged under the fingernails of lawyer Ciara Glennon and not discovered until more than a decade after she was killed in 1997 “may well have turned out to be the proverbial pot of gold” in proving Bradley Edwards murdered her, the WA Supreme Court has been told.

Edwards, 51, is accused of murdering 27-year-old Ciara Glennon, 18-year-old Sarah Spiers and 23-year-old Jane Rimmer in 1996 and 1997, and his triple murder trial in its final days.

State prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo SC returned to the court today to resume her summing up in person, after the trial was last week delayed because she was unwell.

The trial had resumed for a short time last Tuesday with Ms Barbagallo appearing via video link from her home, but technical issues with the video and audio link, combined with Ms Barbagallo’s frequent coughing and spluttering, led to Justice Stephen Hall delaying proceedings.

Ms Barbagallo said the court had heard expert testimony that the chances of the DNA found “on, under or about” two of Ms Glennon’s fingernails coming from someone other than Edwards were 80 million to one, providing “extremely strong scientific support” for the proposition that he murdered her.

Bradley Edwards is accused of murdering Ciara Glennon and dumping her body in Eglinton.(ABC News)

Contamination theory ‘purely speculative’

Ms Barbagallo today also addressed the issue of contamination, telling the court it was “purely speculative” to suggest the accused’s DNA could somehow have got into Ms Glennon’s fingernails as a result of the samples being contaminated.

She said for contamination to have occurred, there would have had to be source, opportunity and mechanism, yet “there is simply no realistic opportunity or mechanism”.

A plastic evidence bag containing two plastic yellow-topped containers.
Fingernail scrapings from Ciara Glennon were sealed in forensic evidence containers in the PathWest lab.(Supplied: Supreme Court of WA)

The only remotely possible source was an intimate sample from a 17-year-old violently raped by Edwards at Karrakatta Cemetery in 1995, which was stored at the PathWest laboratories.

However, Ms Barbagallo said this sample was never examined at the same time as the fingernail samples, and was stored in a sealed tube in a separate box than the nail samples in the PathWest freezer.

A mid-shot of Claremont prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo outside court wearing a black jacket and pink and blue scarf.
State prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo SC says Edwards targeted females leaving Claremont.(ABC News: Charlotte Hamlyn)

One of the two relevant nail samples, known as AJM 40, was marked “debris only, not suitable for testing” and was not opened until it was sent to the UK for testing in 2008, while the other — AJM 42 — was opened just twice, in 1997 and 2004.

The fact AJM 40 was never opened meant it could not have been the source of contamination, Ms Barbagallo said.

“What was passed over as not suitable for analysis in 1996 and 2003 may well have turned out to have been the proverbial pot of gold,” Ms Barbagallo said.

“The state says the possibility of any contamination event was extremely remote, let alone contamination by the accused’s DNA.”

She said the former Telstra technician had used a knife or other sharp object to kill Ms Glennon.

“The assailant cut her neck, severing an artery or vein,” she told the court.

The courtroom was again packed with onlookers, although they were spaced out in accordance with social distancing requirements.

The families of Ms Glennon, Ms Rimmer and Ms Spiers were among the onlookers, as were the two women Edwards attacked at Karrakatta and Huntingdale.

Four key planks to case: prosecutors

Ms Barbagallo last week laid down the central tenements of the state’s case against Edwards, including 25 crucial pieces of evidence that she said proved the former Telstra technician committed the murders.

There were four key planks to the case, she said, comprising DNA evidence, clothing fibre evidence, automotive fibre evidence, and propensity evidence from the crimes he had already admitted.

Even if any one of those was rejected by Justice Hall, the case could be decided on a combination of the other three, Ms Barbagallo asserted.

The first plank of evidence centres on the rape of the 17-year-old girl, a brutal crime Edwards finally confessed to on the eve of his murder trial.

The teenager had been walking home alone from Claremont in the early hours of the morning when Edwards attacked her from behind as she walked through a park.

He bound her hands and feet, stuffed a cloth into her mouth and put a bag over her head before throwing her in the back of his Telstra van and taking her to the nearby cemetery, where he dragged her through the dirt to an isolated area and violently raped her twice.

Edwards was a Telstra technician at the time and fibres that matched pants and shorts issued to Telstra employees in those days were found on the 17-year-old’s shorts.

Fibres from a Telstra technician uniform were also found on the bodies of Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon.

Then there is the car evidence.

At the time of their disappearances, Edwards had been allocated a white VS series 1 Holden Commodore station wagon by Telstra, and car fibres found on both women matched that car.

In addition, when Ms Glennon was last seen on Stirling Highway in the early hours of March 15, 1997, she was talking to someone driving a white Commodore station wagon.

‘Propensity’ for sexually motivated attacks, court told

Like the rape victim, Ms Spiers, Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon were all last seen in Claremont, leaving the entertainment precinct alone late at night.

Ms Barbagallo said Edwards “had a propensity to engage in sexually motivated assaults of females — including and in particular a female leaving the Claremont nightlife precinct alone in the early hours”.

Edwards holds a pair of binoculars and appears to sit on a boat.
Edwards, pictured here as a young man, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the three women.(Supplied: Supreme Court of WA)

In the case of Ms Spiers, whose body has never been found, Ms Barbagallo said she had wanted to go to Mosman Park, and a short time after she left Claremont “horrific screams” were heard in the vicinity of a Toyota station wagon parked in that suburb.

Edwards at that time was driving a Telstra-issued Toyota station wagon.

Like Ms Spiers, Ms Barbagallo said Ms Rimmer was also “attacked in such a way as to cause her to scream out in terror”, and witnesses during the trial gave evidence of screams being heard on the night she disappeared in the area where her body was eventually found.

A Telstra-issued knife was found in the same sparsely populated area of Wellard, on the city’s southern fringes.

Edwards had a propensity to commit sexually motivated attacks, and Ms Rimmer’s body was found naked, Ms Barbagallo said.

Both Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon had been found with similar defensive-style injuries and neck injuries, and both of their bodies had been disposed of in such a manner that they were “extremely unlikely to be found”, the lead prosecutor said.

A drawing of a man wearing glasses, a collared shirt, a tie and a dark-coloured jacket.
Bradley Edwards had a propensity to engage in sexually motivated acts of violence, Ms Barbagallo said.(ABC News: Anne Barnetson)

This would explain why Ms Spiers’s body had not been found, she said.

Lastly, Ms Barbagallo said, Edwards’s movements at the time of all three young women’s disappearances and murders were unaccounted for, and he had the “opportunity and demonstrated skill and capability to abduct and murder them”.

The combined effect of these and other facts would prove Edwards murdered Ms Spiers, Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon, she said.

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Claremont serial killings trial of Bradley Edwards delayed after prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo falls ill

The conclusion to the trial of accused Claremont serial killer Bradley Edwards has been delayed until next week after technical difficulties and the ill health of state prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo SC forced an adjournment.

The trial has been going for almost six months and closing submissions from the prosecution had been scheduled to get underway yesterday, but they were delayed because Ms Barbagallo was unwell.

She did not arrive in person at the WA Supreme Court today, instead beginning her summing up in the case via videolink from her home.

But she appeared to be suffering from a bad cold or flu and was seen frequently coughing.

After the videolink broke down repeatedly, Justice Stephen Hall said Ms Barbagallo appeared to be “significantly unwell” and offered to postpone the hearing.

“This is not an overwhelming success is it?” he said after the videolink to Ms Barbagallo was cut again.

“She is valiantly soldiering on, as I would expect her to do given her professionalism, but I would not want her to feel she is obliged to do so.

“The most important thing is that everyone gets a fair trial.”

Justice Hall adjourned the trial until Monday.

Edwards was ‘the great unknown’ terror, prosecution says

In a brief introduction to her closing argument, Ms Barbagallo said Edwards inflicted the “greatest terror” on the Perth community when he allegedly abducted and wilfully murdered three young women from the affluent Claremont area in 1996 and 1997.

She told the court the normal behaviour of the young women in socialising at Claremont late at night had met with the “abnormal behaviour of an assailant”, causing terror in the community from “the great unknown”.

Edwards, 51, has been on trial since last November for the wilful murders of Sarah Spiers, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon.

The body of 18-year-old Ms Spiers, a receptionist, has never been found.

Ms Rimmer’s body was found in bushland south of Perth nearly seven weeks after the 23-year-old childcare worker went missing.

The remains of 27-year-old Ms Glennon, a lawyer, were also found in bushland, this time on Perth’s northern outskirts 19 days after her disappearance.

DNA, fibres and ‘propensity’ evidence key

Ms Barbagallo said Edwards had disposed of Ms Glennon and Ms Rimmer’s bodies in such a way that they were unlikely to be found.

The fact that Ms Spiers’s body had never been discovered, combined with the lack of witnesses to any of the three abductions and murders, meant the case against Edwards was entirely circumstantial.

But she said the prosecution’s case was so strong as to prove Edwards’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The case would rely primarily on DNA evidence found “on, under or around” a combined sample of two of Ms Glennon’s fingernails, clothing fibres, automotive fibres and propensity evidence from three attacks on women to which Edwards had admitted, Ms Barbagallo said.

The families of the victims were in court today to hear the start of the summing up, including members of the Spiers, Glennon and Rimmer families, as well as Edwards’s parents.

Two women sexually assaulted by Edwards when they were teenagers, one of whom was violently raped in Karrakatta and the other who was the victim of a home invasion and attack in Huntingdale, were also present.

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A timeline of the Claremont serial killings

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