Accused WA Serial Killer In 'Jail Attack'
A pencil may have been used in a prison shower attack on the accused Claremont serial killer, who was taken to a Perth hospital with a non-life-threatening injury to his right ear.
Corrective Services Commissioner Tony Hassall said Bradley Robert Edwards was found alone by a Hakea Prison guard at 7.55am on Monday in the shower block and a pencil was located nearby.
Mr Hassall said authorities were yet to determine whether the injury was self-inflicted or if Edwards had been attacked by another inmate.
"He was refusing to speak to prison officers," Mr Hassell told reporters.
A police investigation is underway to determine what happened and the 22-inmate unit is in lockdown.
Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan said Edwards was in a protective area at the time and the injury was relatively minor.
"It occurred in the shower and it occurred about 20 minutes after the prisoners were unlocked," he told reporters.
Armed guards at Fiona Stanley Hospital accompanied ambulance officers as they took a handcuffed Edwards out on a stretcher.
Edwards had a bandage on his right ear but otherwise appeared calm.
Attorney-General John Quigley said violence within prisons was never acceptable and he wanted Edwards to be "in good health to face justice without delay".
"All of the victims' parents would be distraught if this trial was in any way delayed because of assaults within the prison system," he told reporters.
Edwards, 50, is due to stand trial before a judge sitting without a jury for an estimated nine months starting on July 22 over the murders of Ciara Glennon, 27, Jane Rimmer, 23, and 18-year-old Sarah Spiers.
The medical emergency was revealed during a directions hearing in the WA Supreme Court on Monday, aimed at examining the admissibility of some evidence for the trial.
The court heard Edwards had "health issues" and the matter was stood down until Tuesday.
At a hearing last week, prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo referred to evidence including a six-hour police interview, a prison call, a violent horror movie called Forced Entry which she described as "very graphic", and "extreme" pornography.
The court heard other categories of evidence included "the Huntingdale prowler", women's clothing, Hollywood Hospital and a Telstra witness but no further details were provided.
Ms Spiers was the first Claremont victim to vanish in January 1996, and Ms Glennon was the third in March 1997.
Sarah Spiers, Ciara Glennon and Jane Rimmer
The bodies of Ms Rimmer, a childcare worker, and Ms Glennon, a lawyer, were discovered in bushland weeks after they were killed, but the body of Ms Spiers, a secretary, has never been found.
Edwards, a former Telstra worker and Little Athletics coach, is also accused of attacking an 18-year-old woman in her Huntingdale home in 1988 and raping a 17-year-old girl in Karrakatta in 1995.