More evidence for Claremont killings trial
A woman who dated the accused Claremont serial killer will give evidence at his trial that they visited a "heritage looking pub" in the area and repeatedly spoke about her safety after women vanished.
Former Telstra worker Bradley Robert Edwards, 50, is accused of murdering Sarah Spiers, 18, Jane Rimmer, 23, and Ciara Glennon, 27, who were all last seen in the entertainment strip of the affluent Perth suburb in 1996 and 1997.
In reasons published today, West Australian Supreme Court Justice Stephen Hall allowed some additional statements and evidence, mostly related to DNA and fibre analysis, to be adduced at the trial following formal applications by prosecutors.
UK-based Principal Forensic Services scientist Jonathan Whitaker has provided two additional pages for his report explaining the DNA of another person may have come to be under the fingernails of Ms Glennon "as a result of passive social contact as opposed to scratching".
Prosecutors said they only intended to adduce that evidence in rebuttal if the defence raised the possibility the DNA could have originated from social contact.
"The defence has the benefit of knowing how the witness would respond if a suggestion is made that social contact was a possible innocent explanation for the DNA," Justice Hall said.
"It also has the advantage of being able to consult with its own expert in regard to this possibility prior to Dr Whitaker being called."
Justice Hall said the balance of the DNA evidence related to details about continuity, procedures and methodology, which to some extent only provided clarification of existing evidence.
"However, to the extent that it is new, any prejudice is adequately dealt with by allowing the defence further time in which to consider that evidence before having to produce its own defence expert reports," he said.
The same was true of the fibre evidence, he added.
Justice Hall ultimately ruled the trial would not be unfair if the prosecution's applications were granted.
"It may be inconvenient and frustrating for the defence to be receiving this material at this stage, however I am unable to accept that when taken together it prevents the defence from having a fair and reasonable opportunity to prepare for trial," he said.
Justice Hall is yet to rule on "emotional upset" evidence involving turmoil in Edwards' personal life, which the prosecution alleges correlates with the crimes.
Edwards has already pleaded guilty to five other charges stemming from an attack on an 18-year-old woman in her bed in Huntingdale in 1988, and the abduction and double rape of a 17-year-old girl at Karrakatta cemetery in 1995.
The repeatedly delayed judge-alone trial will finally start on November 25.
© AAP 2019