Claremont killer likely to die behind bars after being handed a life sentence

Claremont killer Bradley Robert Edwards has been sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 40 years.

Edwards, who terrorised Perth’s suburbs for almost a decade, showed no emotion in the Supreme Court of WA on Wednesday after receiving his sentence, which was greeted with applause in the public gallery, including from family members of his victims.

He was convicted in September of abducting and killing Jane Rimmer, 23, and Ciara Glennon, 27, in 1996 and 1997.

Edwards, 52, was found not guilty of the 1996 murder of 18-year-old secretary Sarah Spiers.

All three women disappeared after a night out with friends in affluent Claremont. The bodies of childcare worker Ms Rimmer and solicitor Ms Glennon were discovered in bushland weeks after they were killed but Ms Spiers’ body has never been found.

Justice Stephen Hall described Edwards as a dangerous predator who had sought out vulnerable young women and attacked them for his own gratification.

But he declined to impose a non-parole order, saying a life sentence with a long minimum term was appropriate under the circumstances.

Edwards would have been just the second person in WA to be denied the possibility of parole. Justice Hall imposed such a term earlier this year on family murderer Anthony Robert Harvey.

Edwards committed his first known attack on women in 1988, breaking into the Huntingdale home of an 18-year-old acquaintance and indecently assaulting her as she slept.

It provided the crucial piece of evidence homicide detectives needed to arrest him almost 29 years later.

He’d left behind a semen-stained silk kimono stolen from a washing line and when it was finally tested in November 2016, DNA matched swabs taken from a teenager he abducted from Claremont then raped at nearby Karrakatta Cemetery in 1995.

It also matched cellular material found under Ms Glennon’s fingernails, gathered during a violent struggle shortly before her death.

Fibre evidence established that both murder victims had been in Edwards’ Telstra work vehicle shortly before their deaths.

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