A former sailor who confessed to killing three people may have been responsible for the death of a woman he met at a bar in Western Australia almost 20 years ago, an inquest has heard.
Sara-Lee Davey, 21, went missing in January 1997 after going to the Broome Wharf at 2.30am with 19-year-old Richard Dorrough, who was a Royal Australian Navy sailor on shore leave from HMAS Geelong.
Sara-Lee Davey, thought to be Dorrough's first victim, in Broome 1997.
Counsel assisting the coroner Sergeant Lyle Housiaux said in his opening address on Wednesday that Mr Dorrough tried to bring Ms Davey onboard HMAS Geelong, but was stopped by Able Seaman Dean Mildenhall, who was responsible that night for ship security.
Mr Dorrough told his colleague he was going to take Ms Davey to the end of the wharf to have sex with her.
"This was the last time Ms Davey was seen by a credible witness," Sgt Housiaux said.
Several people were fishing off the jetty and one fisherman said he heard a woman yelling and screaming, and he may have heard a splash.
Sgt Housiaux said Mr Dorrough returned to HMAS Geelong a short time later with scratch marks on his face that were not there before.
Mr Dorrough told his colleague Ms Davey would not have sex with him and had left, but Mr Mildenhall never saw her leave the wharf.
Police interviewed Mr Dorrough but never charged him over Ms Davey's disappearance.
Mr Dorrough was 37 when he took his own life in August 2014 and left a letter saying he had killed three people.
It prompted police in January last year to review the investigation into Ms Davey's disappearance.
Mr Dorrough was charged with the 1998 murder of 29-year-old prostitute Rachael Campbell in Sydney, but was acquitted at trial.
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