The DNA of a man accused of murdering the daughter of a Westport native in Australia in the 1990s was found on or under her fingernails, his pre-trial hearing was told.
Ciara Glennon, a 27-year-old lawyer from Perth in Western Australia, was last seen in the upmarket Claremont district of the city on March 14, 1997. Her body was discovered in dense bushland, north of Perth, three weeks later.
The trial of Bradley Robert Edwards (49), who is accused of her murder along with those of Sarah Spiers (18) and Jane Rimmer (23), as well as the sexual assault of two other women, started in the Western Australia Supreme Court last week.
Ms Glennon’s father, Dennis, is a native of The Quay, Westport, and she spent six weeks in Ireland the year before her murder, during a trip to Europe.
On the evening of her disappearance, a week before her sister’s wedding, Ms Glennon went for drinks with colleagues at the Continental Hotel. At about midnight, she left the hotel to get a taxi home, ten minutes away, and was seen talking to someone in a car.
Opening the trial, the prosecution alleged that Ms Glennon’s throat had been cut and fibres found in her hair matched those from a car Mr Edwards had access to at the time. This evidence is set to be challenged by the defence.
The two other victims in the trial also disappeared while in the Claremont district of Perth in 1996. Ms Glennon’s murder is the last crime of which Mr Edwards has been accused.
The prosecution is attempting to link the timing of it and the other alleged offences to periods of emotional turmoil in Mr Edwards’s personal life, referencing affairs and marriage breakdowns.
In late 2016, 20 years after the disappearance of Ms Spiers, police searched a house in a Perth suburb and Mr Edwards was arrested. He had never before been connected to the murders.
Media reports in Australia say the trial is ‘set to be longest, most complex, most expensive and most watched in Western Australia’s history’.