– With AAP.
1. “I thought I was going to die.” Woman attacked by accused Claremont killer gives testimony.
A social worker, who was attacked from behind by the accused Claremont serial killer, has told a Perth court she thought she was going to die.
Confessed rapist Bradley Robert Edwards, 50, is on trial in the Western Australia Supreme Court accused of murdering secretary Sarah Spiers, 18, child care worker Jane Rimmer, 23, and lawyer Ciara Glennon, 27, after nights out in 1996 and 1997. They were all snatched from the streets of Claremont in Perth, one of the city’s most desirable suburbs.
Edwards has previously been convicted for attacking a social worker from behind at Hollywood Hospital, where he was working for Telstra in 1990.
The attack victim, whose identity is suppressed for privacy, testified on Tuesday and explained she was distressed at having to relive what happened to her at Hollywood Hospital, which started innocuously when the former Telstra technician asked to use the toilet.
She admitted she “grunted” her permission because she was rushing to finish a report so she could go home for her daughter’s birthday.
After she heard the toilet flush “a bit quick”, Edwards emerged then said he had forgotten his pen and asked if he could retrieve it.
She thought it was a strange question but told him he could get it. He instead attacked her from behind.
“His hand came around my face. I was trying desperately not to breathe because I thought there was something on the cloth,” she said.
“I honestly thought I was going to die.
“I breathed in and there was nothing on the cloth so that was when I started to really struggle.
“I thought ‘I’ve got a chance here’.
“My feet kept slipping on the carpet. There was a lot of strength but I managed to twist around.”
She said she was being “pulled back and hoicked up” towards the toilet.
The woman’s chair fell over during the 10-second ordeal, which suddenly stopped.
“It was the strangest.
“One minute I was, I felt, fighting for my life and the next minute he’s just saying ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry’.”
The woman said she got out of the room as fast as she could, wearing just one shoe.
Edwards swiftly admitted to the attack, was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to compete a sex offenders program.
Clinical psychologist Paul McEvoy examined Edwards after the offence and reported he appeared to be “in a state of some distress” as his de facto had recently confessed she had been unfaithful to him early in their relationship.