Breaking News Today

Claremont serial killer guilty of two murders but acquitted of third

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Bradley Robert Edwards has been found guilty of the 1996 murders of Ciara Glennon and Jane Rimmer in two of the three Claremont trial murders.

Bradley Robert Edwards has been found guilty of the 1996 murders of Ciara Glennon and Jane Rimmer in two of the three Claremont trial murders.

He has been acquitted of murdering a third woman, then-18-year-old Sarah Spiers.

In handing down the guilty verdicts, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Hall described the case as a "trial like no other".

RECAP: Bradley Robert Edwards found guilty of two Claremont murders

Bradley Robert Edwards.

The verdicts come 24 years after the women disappeared from an affluent Perth suburb, prompting West Australia Police's longest-running murder investigation to date.

Edwards remained expressionless in court throughout his trial, but was seen giving a slight shake of his head as the judge found him guilty.

Justice Hall told the court the similarities between Ms Spiers' disappearance and those of the other two women were insufficient to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Edwards was behind her death.

Justice Hall said he had concluded the teenager - whose body has never been found - had been killed, but the question of who killed her remained inconclusive.

The bodies of the other two victims were found in bushland.

Jane Rimmer Claremont

Speaking outside court today, Jane's sister Lee Rimmer described emotional scenes in the courtroom following the findings.

"Everyone just gave each other a hug," Ms Rimmer said.

"I think we all just wanted to have our own grief - that's what I saw, and just thinking about the Spiers all the time."

She said the verdict gave her some closure, "but it's always going to be the same – no one is ever going to bring (Jane) back".

READ:  Why You NEED To Soak Your Rice, According To Indian Cooking Experts

She described "body troubles" as among the "shocking" toll taken by the 24-year hunt to find her sister's killer.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has reacted to the verdict, the "unimaginable heartbreak" of the victims' families, saying "the thoughts of every Western Australian will be with you forever".

The two guilty verdicts follow a seven-month judge-alone trial which ended in June.

Edwards had pleaded not guilty to the murders but before the trial admitted to the rape and attempted rape of two women in 1988 and 1995.

It is not yet known whether Edwards will appeal today's verdict.

He will be sentenced for the murders of Ms Glennon and Ms Rimmer on December 23.

Nine News Special: The Claremont Killings

Edwards was found not guilty of Sarah Spiers' murder

Justice Stephen Hall's judgements have been publicly released, outlining his reasoning for today's guilty and not guilty verdicts.

Of Ms Spiers' case, he wrote: "Ms Spiers was last seen in Claremont in the early hours of 27 January 1996".

"She must have been abducted and killed, but the circumstances in which she was taken and how she died are unknown.

"There are inconsistencies in the evidence of the Mosman Park screams that prevent a conclusion that those screams were Ms Spiers.

"However, even if they were they can only be explained by her abductor luring her into the car and taking her to her intended destination in a manner that is inconsistent with the Karrakatta propensity evidence.

"The evidence in regard to a car seen near a telephone box in Mosman Park does not permit a conclusion to be drawn that it was the source of the screams or that it was a car of the same make or model as that driven by the accused at the time.

READ:  Mars is closer to Earth in October than it will be for another 15 years

"This leaves only the propensity evidence, being the Karrakatta evidence and the evidence of the killings of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon.

"The Karrakatta evidence establishes that the accused had a tendency to violently attack and abduct young women from the Claremont area.

"The killing of Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon establishes that the tendency developed to killing abducted young women using a sharp instrument and disposing of the body in a semi-rural location.

"The propensity evidence makes it more likely that the accused was the killer of Ms Spiers but it cannot prove it beyond reasonable doubt in the absence of any other evidence as to the identity of her killer."

'We will never give up'

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has welcomed today's two guilty verdicts, but emphasisted that the police investigation into Sarah Spiers' death remains open.

"This is an important day for justice in Western Australia," Mr Dawson said.

"The Claremont killings struck at the heart of our way of life, stretching to become almost a quarter of a century.

"Three innocent young women were killed along with the hopes and dreams they never got to fulfil."

He said investigators "will never give up trying to locate Sarah".

"Sarah and her family deserve justice," he said.

The commissioner also paid tribute to the "patience, grace and dignity" of the three women's grieving relatives.

"I acknowledge and thank all those family members for their strength and their resilience," he said.

"I have just spent some time with all those family members.

"They have carried themselves and continue to with patience, grace and dignity under the most tragic of circumstances."

READ:  'I just want my friend to be safe' :Reaction over Aussie man's death sentence

Source: 9News

Share This
Finance Advice 2021