Nurse's killer convicted after 33 years

Miranda Forster
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Verdict due in NSW nurse murder trial

A NSW judge will deliver his verdict in the case of a man charged with the 1983 murder of a nurse.

After 33 long years, the family of Sydney nurse Mary Louise Wallace has finally seen her killer brought to justice.

There were hugs and tears in the Supreme Court in Sydney on Friday when Robert John Adams was found guilty of murdering Ms Wallace in 1983.

"We've waited 33 years for this decision," Ms Wallace's sister Anne Fraser said outside court.

"...I didn't believe it, it'll take a while to sink in.

"We've known since the first week (it was Adams) and it's just thanks to police."

Adams, 64, showed no emotion when Justice Richard Button delivered the verdict following a judge-alone trial.

He said the former carpenter had shown a "chronic" tendency to rape and strangle women after meeting them in public and luring them to his car.

It was a modus operandi he'd used on at least three other women, who bravely came forward to testify at the trial.

"Whilst alone in his car with the deceased ... the accused choked or strangled her with the intention of having sexual intercourse with her without her consent," Justice Button said.

He said the act had caused Ms Wallace's sudden death.

"The accused treated the deceased very much as an object, just as he had treated three other young women," the judge added.

Ms Wallace was last seen with Adams in his car leaving a Crows Nest bar in the early hours of September 24, 1983.

Adams was a suspect but it would be 30 years before police arrested him, after advances in technology allowed them to match hairs seized from his car boot to strands from Ms Wallace's hairbrush.

That evidence, along with witnesses who saw Adams hosing his boot the weekend of Ms Wallace's disappearance, helped to satisfy Justice Button beyond doubt that Adams was the killer.

Ms Wallace's remains have never been found and her family desperately want Adams to reveal what he did with her.

"I'd like to know where her body is so we can take her out of the crime scene and lay her to rest somewhere," her sister Libby said.

Adams' bail was revoked after the verdict and he was taken into custody.

He is due to face a sentence hearing in February.