AN application to delay the start of Western Australia’s most highly anticipated criminal trial is expected to be heard in coming days after potentially significant new evidence in the Claremont serial killings case emerged.
The nine-month, judge-alone trial of former Telstra worker Bradley Robert Edwards, 50, who is accused of killing three women in 1996 and 1997, was scheduled to begin on July 22.
But it emerged at a monthly criminal case management hearing in the West Australian Supreme Court in April that new evidence – clothing obtained from a Telstra worker from the 1990s – had been added to the prosecution case.
Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo said the evidence was potentially significant, and fibres from the clothing would be compared with others in evidence.
Defence counsel Paul Yovich told the hearing his fibre expert would need about eight-to-12 weeks to review the final analytical report.
He foreshadowed the trial was unlikely to proceed next month.
Justice Stephen Hall also flagged his concerns, saying the development would “potentially imperil the start of the trial”.
An application for adjournment is expected on Thursday.
Edwards is charged with murdering Ciara Glennon, 27, Jane Rimmer, 23, and 18-year-old Sarah Spiers, who were all last seen in Claremont.
He is also accused of attacking an 18-year-old woman at her Huntingdale home in 1988 and twice raping a 17-year-old girl at Karrakatta cemetery in 1995.