Telstra cars probed amid Claremont murders

Bradley Robert Edwards.
Bradley Robert Edwards.

DETECTIVES were looking into Telstra vehicles before the third Claremont serial killings victim was taken, it has been revealed in court.

Ex-Telstra technician Bradley Robert Edwards, 50, is on trial in the Western Australia Supreme Court, charged with murdering Sarah Spiers, 18, Jane Rimmer, 23, and Ciara Glennon, 27, in 1996 and 1997.

During the testimony of former veteran Telstra worker Lynda Eldridge on Tuesday, a fax from the company to WA Police in July 1996 referred to a witness claiming to have seen a car with the new logo in February the prior year.

Edwards has admitted abducting and twice raping a 17-year-old girl after dragging her through Karrakatta cemetery that month.

“You mentioned the vehicle you were looking for had a Telstra logo on the side, distinct from the Telecom logo, and the witness was fairly definite about this,” the fax read.

“If this is the case, then you should be aware that we only started putting Telstra logos on our vehicles from about July 1995.”

Victims Ciara Glennon, Sarah Spiers and Jane Rimmer.

The fax also said the driver’s name recorded might not be correct because sometimes vehicles changed hands.

Telstra provided a list of possible drivers but Edwards was not on it.

Natalie Clements, 47, earlier testified she saw a Telstra car circling the area five times in about two hours on the Friday night before Christmas in 1996.

It drove past the Ocean Beach Hotel twice while she sat in the front bar area with four female friends.

Soon after, the group was walking down Eric Street towards the train station when she saw the silhouette of a ladder on the roof of the Commodore, mistakenly believed it was a taxi and stepped into the road trying to hail it.

“It wasn’t a taxi,” she said.

“It was a white station wagon.

“It had a Telstra logo on the driver’s side door.

“It slowed and stopped. I said ‘no, I didn’t need a lift’ and they kept going.”

Bradley Robert Edwards. Picture: File image

She said the number plates had an orange frame, which the court previously heard was used to denote cars under a “part private use agreement”, which Edwards had signed up to.

Ms Clements said she saw the same car drive past two more times as the group continued to walk down the street and it slowed but did not stop.

They eventually found a taxi.

Ms Clements said she did not see the male driver because they were “in the shadow of the car”.

She spoke to police about it in June 1997 after a friend said she had been picked up by a Telstra vehicle.

Ms Clements agreed with defence counsel Paul Yovich that she believed there was “something fishy about it”.

Mr Yovich pointed out she made no mention of any conversation with the driver in her original statement, but it emerged in a second statement in September.

Ms Clements said that was because she was asked questions about it.

— AAP