Ex-wife speaks in Claremont killings trial
Bradley Robert Edwards' defence team has attempted to poke holes in the so- called "emotional upset" evidence prosecutors partly rely on in the Claremont serial killings trial.
The 50-year-old ex-Telstra technician is accused of murdering secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, child care worker Jane Rimmer, 23, and lawyer Ciara Glennon, 27, after abducting or luring them into his work car at night in 1996 and 1997.
His ex-wife, whose identity is suppressed, was the first witness to give evidence in the Western Australia Supreme Court trial, saying their relationship started to unravel after he became distant.
She then had an affair with a friend-turned-boarder with whom she later had a child.
After the married couple separated in late 1995 or early 1996, the woman briefly moved in with her parents.
One evening, the former Little Athletics coach arrived unannounced but there was no discussion about their separation and no display of anger.
He stayed for dinner but she declined his offer to watch fireworks together.
"I just said no, I didn't want to go to the fireworks," she said. "He accepted it."
The ex-wife could not recall what event the fireworks were for. Prosecutors allege it was Australia Day and Edwards killed Ms Spiers later that night.
The ex-wife said she told Edwards about her pregnancy when she was living at her partner's new home around May or June 1996 and said their conversation was civil.
But gas records referred to by defence counsel Paul Yovich showed her new partner, whose identity is also suppressed, had moved into that property in September 1996, contradicting her evidence.
Asked if she could have been mistaken about the date, she replied: "I don't remember, yes".
Ms Rimmer was murdered on June 9 and prosecutors allege Edwards found out about the pregnancy shortly beforehand.
The ex-wife was also asked about the sale of their marital home, which prosecutors allege was a moment of emotional upset for Edwards, with Ms Glennon murdered days later.
The woman said she was not involved in the sale and received no money from it. The court also heard that she had returned there, while living with her new lover, and had sex with Edwards after attending a family event with him.
The next morning, she asked him if they were doing the right thing, suggesting they sort out their marriage, but he was non-responsive.
"He didn't say anything to me at all," she said.
"He never made any comment about us separating.
"He did not ask me to return."
Edwards remained expressionless in the dock as the intimate details emerged. The ex-wife also said Edwards had always dropped her off and picked her up from work, but once failed to collect her after an "incident" at Hollywood Hospital, which came after she pushed him to get married and they had an argument.
The court previously heard the "incident" was an attack on a social worker in 1990, which earnt him an assault conviction and an order to complete a sex offender program.
The second witness was former friend Karen McInroy, who said she saw the ex-wife flirt with the boarder in front of Edwards on New Year's Eve in 1994 shortly before they began their affair.
She said after the married couple separated, Edwards turned up at her house unannounced in early 1997 and during a 15-minute conversation became upset that she had not yet visited his ex-wife after she delivered her baby. Ms McInroy said she had never seen him like that before.
"He was quite upset," she said.
"It was quite intense. He definitely changed." Edwards last month admitted to five offences stemming from an attack on a sleeping 18-year-old woman in Huntingdale in 1988, and the abduction and double rape of a teenager at Karrakatta cemetery in 1995.