Teen's fatal decision 10 minutes before vanishing forever

Sarah Spiers' friends called it a night less than 10 minutes after she had called for a taxi and vanished, the Claremont serial killings trial has heard. 

Ex-Telstra technician Bradley Robert Edwards, 50, is fighting accusations he murdered Ms Spiers, 18, Jane Rimmer, 23, and Ciara Glennon, 27, in 1996 and 1997.

Emma Waites, 42, testified on Thursday she was among a group who ended up at Club Bayview, in Perth’s west, on Australia Day in 1996.

At about 1.30am, Ms Spiers said she was going home despite being encouraged to stay.  

"She spoke to me clearly. She wasn't upset. She just was going to leave," Ms Waites told the Western Australia Supreme Court.

"She seemed normal. There was nothing unusual."

The witness teared up when she said that was the last time she saw her friend. 

Ms Waites left with a friend at 2.15am, with a bank record showing an ATM was accessed at 2.17am.

The court has previously heard Ms Spiers called for a taxi at 2.06am, but when it arrived minutes later, she was nowhere to be seen.

Sarah Spiers, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon were all killed between 1996 and 1997. Source: AAP

Ms Waites said her friend was wearing beige shorts, a light coloured shirt and a black jacket around her waist.

Mark Laidman, 58, said he was in a car with two friends including Alec Pannall, who previously gave evidence, when he saw a young woman with shoulder-length hair wearing a similar outfit who glanced at them.

"I did notice a girl leaning up against a bollard," he said.

"She was just tall enough that she could almost sit on it."

Mr Laidman said he noticed a vehicle behind them at the red light but it didn't follow them through.

Christine Hams, the mother of one of Ms Spiers' close friends, said the secretary was "happy, chatty, normal Sarah" the last time she saw her for lunch hours earlier.

Ms Hams told her she was welcome to stay over at the family's Mosman Park house following her night out.

"She smiled and said yes, she knew she was welcome," she said.

"As far as I'm aware, no one attended the house."

The taxi call shows Ms Spiers planned to go to Mosman Park, where several people heard screams sometime between 2.30am and 3am.

Bradley Robert Edwards is accused of murder. Source: AAP

Earlier on Thursday, the court heard from Katrina Jones, 63, who said in December 1995 an unmarked white van slowed down on Stirling Highway and stared at her, then continued on.

"I thought: 'Oh geez, I don't need this'," an animated Ms Jones said.

She turned around "because something felt strange" and he had done a U-turn.

He drove up alongside her, asked if she was alright and gave her a lift.

She noticed a log book in the vehicle and an identification card, and recognised the telecommunications "bits and bobs".

Ms Jones said she remembered he said he worked for Telecom.

He was "so polite", "very friendly", and told her: "I was just heading to Cottesloe to pick up damsels in distress like yourself."

But she became wary, telling the court "I am very intuitive and I pick up on stuff" before being cut off.

Ms Jones prematurely asked him to drop her off "because I didn't want him near my car" but after she got out, he was suddenly behind her. 

"He grabbed my arm ... and he tried to kiss me," she said. 

"I said 'hey, woah ... I'll drop you'.

"I already told him I'm a blue belt in taekwondo."

He backed off and left but she was unable to note his number plate. 

Ms Jones became agitated when defence counsel Paul Yovich pointed out contradictions between her testimony and 1997 statement. 

She admitted she had not initially told police the driver had said he worked for Telecom or Telstra, and added that detail in 2017.

"This may have been influenced by the newspaper article I read," she said in a 2018 statement.

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