Claremont accused’s wife ‘feared for life’

The Claremont serial killings trial in Perth has heard Bradley Robert Edwards' second wife feared for her life as their relationship
The Claremont serial killings trial in Perth has heard Bradley Robert Edwards' second wife feared for her life as their relationship "started to escalate".

BRADLEY Robert Edwards’ second wife says she feared for her life during her marriage to the accused Claremont serial killer and compiled a notebook of his bank transactions, with some showing he’d been in the area.

The ex-Telstra technician is battling accusations he murdered secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, child care worker Jane Rimmer, 23, and lawyer Ciara Glennon, 27, on nights in 1996 and 1997.

Edwards’ second wife, whose identity is suppressed, testified on Thursday that the year before she left him, she took detailed notes from his bank statements from 1996 to 1998, including two withdrawals from a Bayview Terrace ATM in December 1996.

Asked why she wrote the notes, she said their relationship “started to escalate”.

Bradley Robert Edwards. Picture: File image

“I feared for my life”, she told the Western Australia Supreme Court on Thursday, but was prevented from expanding further.

She later said she was “terrified while writing this” and was “scared stiffless”.

The court has previously heard that in his police interview Edwards claimed he had not visited the Claremont area around the times when the three victims were murdered.

He said he had no association with the affluent suburb so had no reason to go there.

With a clear recollection of specifics, Edwards’ second wife said she met him on April 1, 1997 when he attended her workplace for a Telstra job following a lightning strike.

“I thought it was an April Fools’ joke,” she said.

She said Edwards, 50, asked her out and she joked: “If you’re going to take me out, I deserve two dozen roses – and he did.”

They had a “meeting” at McDonald’s to thank him for the bouquet and brought her young daughter to show him they were a “package” before having their first official date on April 12.

“We fell in love pretty quickly, I guess,” she said.

Bradley Robert Edwards. Picture: Artist’s impression/file image

The second wife said Edwards told her he had a prior conviction but labelled it “just an assault” committed after his first wife, who was his girlfriend at the time, cheated on him and he had a “brain snap”.

She said she later learnt it was the Hollywood Hospital “incident”.

Edwards attacked a social worker from behind and tried to drag her into toilets at the hospital in 1990.

He pleaded guilty to assault and was ordered to complete a sex offender’s program.

“He minimised it and that’s all I knew about it – it was just an assault,” the second wife said.

“He cried and everything … I felt sorry for him.”

The couple married in December 2000 but broke up in July 2015.

Earlier, an ex-girlfriend, whose name is also suppressed, testified she saw Edwards on most weekends while they were dating after both coming out of marriage break-ups.

He spoke about his marriage breakdown without anger or bitterness.

“He was matter-of-fact about it,” she said.

Their relationship changed after they spent a weekend in Margaret River in February 1997.

“That was when I noticed things were different between us … it started to fizzle,” she said.

The ex-girlfriend said their relationship ended in March or the beginning of April 1997, adding it had “well and truly finished” by her daughter’s birthday in late April.

“He told me he’d met somebody else,” the woman said.

She agreed with the suggestion it came as a surprise.

They then had sex.

Defence counsel Paul Yovich asked if Edwards was “trying to be nice about it” and the woman replied: “I guess so.”

The next morning, Edwards said he still wanted to break up, then left.