No closure for Claremont victim's family

Michael Ramsey
·3-min read

The father of Claremont murder victim Ciara Glennon has welcomed her killer's life sentence but says it will never bring his family closure.

Denis Glennon has spoken of the enduring agony of his daughter's abduction and brutal slaying after a night out with friends in Perth in 1997.

Her killer, 52-year-old Bradley Robert Edwards, will almost certainly die behind bars after a West Australian judge jailed him for at least 40 years.

He was convicted in September of murdering Ms Glennon, 27, as well as 23-year-old Jane Rimmer nine months earlier.

Mr Glennon says he, his wife Una and daughter Denise are at peace and believe justice has been served.

But in a powerful statement on behalf of the family on Thursday, he made clear that nothing could resolve the family's loss.

"There is no such experience as closure," he said.

"Our life is now divided into two very distinct parts: one with Ciara, and the other without her.

"There will always be an empty chair at the table, especially at birthdays, anniversaries, and times of celebration just as now at Christmas."

Mr Glennon said the family had received frequent requests for interviews or contributions to books, articles and films about the Claremont killings, including in exchange for a fee or donations to the Ciara Glennon Foundation.

Accepting such an offer would be an affront to his daughter and everything she stood for, he said.

"To have Ciara killed in the prime of her life was and is our worst nightmare, and the suffering is never-ending, it is unimaginable, it is indescribable," he said.

"If we were to respond to such requests, it reignites a reliving for us not only of the pain, the sadness and the early despair we experienced, but also reignites the remorseless disregard shown by the convicted person for the suffering he caused.

"He has done enough damage to my family. I will not permit him to cause further damage."

In sentencing Edwards - who declined to participate in a psychiatric report and remained expressionless throughout Wednesday's hearing - Supreme Court of WA Justice Stephen Hall described him as a ruthless predator of vulnerable women.

Edwards was acquitted in September of the 1996 murder of 18-year-old secretary Sarah Spiers.

All three women disappeared after a night out with friends in affluent Claremont, with the bodies of Ms Rimmer, a childcare worker, and Ms Glennon, a solicitor, discovered in bushland weeks after they were killed.

Ms Spiers' body has never been found but Justice Stephen Hall said the confessed rapist's propensity for violent abductions made it likely that he also killed her.

Edwards pleaded guilty on the eve of his trial to sexually assaulting two young women in 1988 and 1995.

Mr Glennon paid tribute to the extraordinary courage of the two survivors, who faced their attacker on Wednesday to deliver harrowing victim impact statements.

He also asked well-wishers to include Edwards' elderly parents, who were present throughout his trial, in their thoughts and prayers.

"They, too, are in their own crucible of suffering," he said.

Edwards will be 88 by the time he is eligible for parole.