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Claremont trial: Doctor who assessed rape victim recalls violent crime

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The teenage rape victim of accused Claremont serial killer Bradley Edwards was left in significant pain after the 1995 attack, his trial has heard.

A doctor who examined a teenage girl after she was raped in a graveyard by the accused Claremont serial killer says the violent case still stands out in her memory after 25 years.

Bradley Robert Edwards, 51, admits sexually assaulting the 17-year-old at Karrakatta Cemetery in 1995 but denies murdering secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, childcare worker Jane Rimmer, 23, and solicitor Ciara Glennon, 27, in 1996 and 1997.

The Western Australia Supreme Court previously heard the ex-Telstra technician abducted the girl as she walked through a dimly-lit park at night, stuffing a sock into her mouth, pulling a cloth bag over her head and tying her up.

The victim testified in a statement that she feared her attacker was going to kill her, after dragging her for several metres and throwing her into bushes.

Amanda Barnard told the court on Monday she had examined thousands of women working as an on-call doctor for the Sexual Assaults Resource Centre, but the case was memorable because it was a violent assault by a stranger, the victim was hooded and restrained, and she had been a virgin.

Dr Barnard said the extent and pain of the teenager's injuries was also notable.

The court heard she suffered bruises, abrasions, cuts, swelling and tenderness, including around her wrists and ankles, where red marks from being bound remained visible hours later.

It also caused nerve damage, with the victim reporting persistent numbness in her left thumb.

She was left bleeding, dirt-stained and had leaf matter "deeply entangled" in her hair, Dr Barnard testified.

Former detective Teresa Kurtis described the "very slight" girl as being physically shaken and distressed after her ordeal.

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Prosecutors say DNA recovered from the teenager matched DNA found on a silk kimono Edwards left behind after attacking a sleeping 18-year-old woman in her Huntingdale home in 1988 - crimes he confessed to in October before the murders trial started.

They also say his DNA was recovered from under Ms Glennon's fingernails.

It is further alleged fibres from Telstra-issued trousers were found on the rape victim, Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon.

Prosecutors also say fibres from the same make and model as Edwards' work car were found on Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon.

But his defence team argues exhibits may have been contaminated.

Former forensic officer Barry Mott testified he took photographs of Ms Rimmer where she was found dumped in Wellard bushland in August 1996 and admitted he may have brushed against the body because it was a tight area.

Accused Claremont Killer Bradley Robert Edwards

The former sergeant said he also helped remove Ms Rimmer's body, wearing disposable overalls and gloves but nothing over his boots.

Mr Mott said he later delivered a hair sample for testing but did not open the container.

"It wasn't for me to open it. I was a courier for the purpose of the coroner," he said.

Mr Mott also attended Ms Glennon's dumping site in Eglinton in April 1997 where he collected entomology samples.

He wore police-issued blue overalls, gloves and shoe covers.

A crucial piece of evidence collected from the site is a hair sample, titled RH17, but it was not captured on camera.

"I just recall Dr (Karin) Margolius finding it ... we scooped on it quickly so we didn't lose that sample," Mr Mott said.

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He is yet to be cross-examined.

Source: 9News

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