Saturday 23 March 2019

Suspect in murder of Irishwoman 'obsessed with kidnap and rape', court hears

Tragic: Irishwoman Ciara Glennon, whose body was found 18 days after she went missing near Perth, Australia
Tragic: Irishwoman Ciara Glennon, whose body was found 18 days after she went missing near Perth, Australia
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

The man suspected of murdering Irishwoman Ciara Glennon 20 years ago in Australia is socially awkward with an "obsessive sexual interest" in abduction, a court has heard.

For the first time, prosecutors in Perth have revealed disturbing details about why they believe Bradley Robert Edwards is the man responsible for abducting and murdering Ms Glennon (27) and two other young women in the 1990s.

The pre-trial hearing of the accused, from Claremont, Western Australia, began on Monday after its proceedings were delayed on a number of occasions.

Ms Glennon, whose family are from Westport, Co Mayo, disappeared on March 14, 1997, after a night out celebrating St Patrick's Day in the Perth suburb of Claremont.

Her body was discovered in bushland 50km north of Perth and had to be identified by her parents.

The court heard DNA taken from Ms Glennon's body, including from under her fingernails, was consistent with Mr Edwards's DNA.

Accused: Bradley Edwards Roberts charged with three murders
Accused: Bradley Edwards Roberts charged with three murders

Fibres in her hair also corresponded with the same fibres found inside Mr Edwards's car.

The 27-year-old's body was found 18 days after she vanished and she died as a result of her neck being cut.

The court heard that on the night of Ms Glennon's disappearance, the accused had been due to spend the night with friends.

But when he turned up the next morning, Mr Edwards said he was trying to reconcile with his then partner.

Mr Edwards is also accused of murdering Sarah Spiers (18), and Jane Rimmer (23) in 1996 and 1997.

He previously pleaded not guilty to all charges, which also include raping a 17-year-old girl in 1995 and breaking into an 18-year-old woman's bedroom in her home in 1988.

Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo argued Mr Edwards was "an introverted, socially awkward man… who had a long-standing tendency for the collection and wearing of women's underwear".

She said all the allegations against Mr Edwards, as well as pornography and "violent and erotic stories" seized after his arrest, showed he had an "obsessive sexual interest in the abduction, imprisonment and forcible rape of women in degrading and violent circumstances".

She claimed it showed that his "sexual interests were extreme, abnormal and depraved".

Ms Barbagallo also outlined that boxes had been found at his home after his arrest, which contained women's underwear with holes cut in them.

Following Mr Edwards' arrest in 2016, Ms Glennon's father Denis described the murder charge as a "bitter-sweet moment".

Mr Edwards will go on trial in the Supreme Court of Western Australia for an estimated nine months starting from July 22.

Irish Independent

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