The seven-month trial of accused Claremont serial killer Bradley Robert Edwards has finally finished and the judge expects to deliver his verdict within three months.
Mr Edwards, 51, denies murdering secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, childcare worker Jane Rimmer, 23, and solicitor Ciara Glennon, 27, in 1996 and 1997.
The confessed rapist and ex-Telstra technician has sat through a 95-day WA Supreme Court trial, which included more than 200 witnesses, as well as DNA and fibre analysis.
Justice Stephen Hall retired to consider his verdict on Thursday, saying he intended to remand Mr Edwards in custody until September 24, but could deliver his decision sooner.
Earlier, defence counsel Paul Yovich completed his lengthy closing submissions, saying given the absence of Ms Spiers’ remains, it could not be proven her attacker intended to murder her.
He also said Mr Edwards’ opportunity to commit the crime was “so tight” that he was highly unlikely to have done it.
Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon were murdered, and likely by the same person, given they had similar injuries and their bodies had both been concealed the same way in bushland, Mr Yovich conceded.
But the evidence did not prove it was Mr Edwards, he said.
Even if Mr Edwards was found guilty of murdering Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon, propensity was not enough to convict him of murdering Ms Spiers, he said.
Mr Yovich added Justice Hall could not act on a 20-year-old assumption that the women were victims of a serial killer.
“It is perfectly plausible that different offenders are responsible for these offences,” he said.
“No doubt the community and the families of the victims yearn for closure, but a conviction or convictions founded on inadequate evidence and not by powerful satisfaction beyond reasonable doubt on any of the counts will not constitute proper closure.”
Day six of Mr Yovich’s closing submissions were largely focused on the fibre evidence.
Prosecutors allege fibres from Mr Edwards’ work clothes and his Holden Commodore VS station wagon were found on Ms Rimmer and Ms Glennon.
Fibres were also recovered from a 17-year-old girl Mr Edwards admits twice raping at Karrakatta Cemetery after abducting her from a dark park in Claremont in 1995.
But Mr Yovich said none of Mr Edwards’ clothes were tested, nor was his vehicle seized at the time for examination.
“All of those (forensic) opportunities have been lost,” Mr Yovich said.
He also suggested it was possible the fibres on the women came from other contact, such as bumping into people while out in Claremont.
In addition to the double rape, Mr Edwards has pleaded guilty to attacking an 18-year-old woman as she slept at her Huntingdale home in 1988.
The families of all the victims have attended much of the trial and even the coronavirus pandemic could not derail the judicial process.
Mr Edwards has showed little emotion throughout, except the occasional smile towards his parents sitting in the public gallery.