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Porn Ruled Out Of Claremont Murders Trial

Violent pornography evidence will not be used against the accused Claremont serial killer, but a judge has ruled all the charges should be heard in one trial rather than separating an earlier alleged attack.

Bradley Robert Edwards, 50, is charged with murdering Ciara Glennon, 27, Jane Rimmer, 23, and 18-year-old Sarah Spiers, who were all last seen in Claremont between 1996 and 1997.

He is also accused of attacking an 18-year-old woman at her Huntingdale home in 1988 and twice raping a 17-year-old girl at Karrakatta cemetery in 1995.

Edwards appeared in the West Australian Supreme Court on Wednesday, via video link from Casuarina prison, for a monthly criminal case management hearing.

The court heard 580 witnesses may give evidence during the nine-month trial sitting without a jury, scheduled to begin on July 22.

Justice Stephen Hall also handed down his judgment following a pre-trial hearing last month about the admissibility of propensity evidence and an application by defence counsel Paul Yovich to run a separate trial for the Huntingdale offences.

In handing down his ruling, Justice Hall said all charges should be heard in one trial but Mr Yovich had seven days to appeal the decision.

Edwards' conviction for attacking a woman at Hollywood Hospital in 1990 and evidence regarding the alleged Huntingdale attack and alleged cemetery rape were deemed relevant to the entire case.

But Justice Hall said graphic pornography found on Edwards' devices, including thousands of BDSM images, a film called Forced Entry depicting the rape and torture of young women, and violent erotic stories detailing the abduction of women, were irrelevant.

"The Chloe story does include a number of features that are common to the offences, in particular the Karrakatta offences. However, the story is different in many other important respects," he said.

"It contains no striking, unique or telling details that only the perpetrator would know.

"If, as alleged, it is autobiographical, it is curious that it has so many details that are unlike the Karrakatta offences."

Justice Hall said the "Huntingdale prowler evidence", about a man breaking into homes and stealing women's garments from clotheslines, would only be admissible for the alleged aggravated burglary and deprivation of liberty offences in Huntingdale.

The "Telstra living witness" evidence, about a man driving a Telstra vehicle picking up women in the Claremont area between 1995 and 1997, will only be admissible for the murders and cemetery offences.

"The common features between the Huntingdale and Telstra evidence are few and broadly stated," Justice Hall said.

"In essence, they are that the person involved has a tendency to prowl an area that he knows and that this is sexually motivated.

"There is a distinctive method used in each group, but it is not the same.

"On the other hand, there are many and significant differences between the conduct. Those differences cannot be readily explained or dismissed as irrelevant."

AAP

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