Accused Claremont killer ‘lied about night’, court told
The accused Claremont serial killer stood up his sick friend on the night the third victim was taken, claiming he tried to reconcile with his first wife, but she says it never happened.
Former Telstra technician Bradley Robert Edwards, 50, is on trial accused of murdering secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, child care worker Jane Rimmer, 23, and lawyer Ciara Glennon, 27, after they spent nights out in 1996 and 1997.
Ex-workmate Murray Cook, 55, struck up a friendship with Edwards when the accused gave him a lift home in September 1995 and they bonded over pool.
"It came about in conversation through our time together that he was separated and that's all I know," Mr Cook testified in the Western Australia Supreme Court on Friday.
Mr Cook said he and his wife went to Dawesville for a holiday in March 1997 after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and invited Edwards to join them on a Friday night.
His wife Brigita Cook said the couple had asked Edwards what he was up to and he replied "not much".
But he did not arrive until 11am the following morning.
"I said words to the effect of 'what the hell? You were supposed to be here'," Mr Cook said.
"He said 'I was trying to reconcile with my wife'."
When asked how it went, Edwards shook his head.
Prosecutors allege Edwards arrived late because he murdered Ms Glennon that night.
"Murray and I had no reason not to believe what he said," Ms Cook said. She said the property did not have a television or radio so they "didn't hear what happened" to Ms Glennon.
Defence counsel Paul Yovich suggested his client was actually referring to a break-up with a girlfriend, but the Cooks firmly disagreed.
Edwards' first wife, whose identity is suppressed, testified earlier this week that he never asked her to return.
She said she suggested sorting out their marriage after she returned to the matrimonial home and had sex with Edwards, despite having moved in with her new lover, but he did not respond.
Mr Cook also told the court he worked with Edwards at Dumas House on January 27, 1996 - just hours after the former Little Athletics coach allegedly murdered Ms Spiers.
He said he arrived at work that day with Edwards but could not recall who drove. Ms Cook testified it was a memorably hot day, recalling Edwards and her husband inspected their broken air conditioner before Mr Cook drove them to work.
Mr Yovich put to her it was only 27C but she remained adamant it was hot. Ms Cook also insisted Edwards did not leave his car at her house, adding he may have been dropped off by his brother or walked.
The defence further attempted to cast doubt on the couple's recollection of events, saying records showed the only work station wagon Mr Cook recalled Edwards having was not registered until April 1996.
Mr Cook believed Edwards was driving it on that first lift home. "Events, even important events, are not easy to remember 20 years later," Mr Yovich said.
Ms Cook was assisted by a diary she kept, but Mr Yovich said it was possible for a confident person to be wrong.
Edwards' work cars are central to the case as it is alleged he abducted his victims in those vehicles and fibres from the interiors were found on two of the women.