Forensic scientist continues to detail how crucial DNA evidence was uncovered

Forensic scientist continues to detail how crucial DNA evidence was uncovered

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Welcome to WAtoday’s live coverage of day 36 of the Claremont serial killer trial in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. 

Today, Pathwest forensic scientist Anne-Marie Ashley (formerly Furmedge) will continue to give evidence for a second day.

Ms Ashley was involved in the testing and storage of the state’s evidence which relates to Ciara’s fingernails, hair and clothing, and rape kit swabs taken from a 17-year-old girl accused murderer Bradley Edwards raped in 1995. 

Late yesterday Ms Ashley completed her evidence about how Mr Edwards’ DNA was recovered from the rape kit swabs, and stored in the Pathwest DNA database as ‘Unknown male 4’ for more than 20 years until his arrest in 2016. 

In 2008, scientists testing Ciara’s fingernails for DNA detected the same unknown male profile which allegedly linked the two crimes. 

Today, it’s expected Ms Ashley will begin her evidence in relation to the testing and storage of the crucial fingernail exhibits.

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Mr Edwards’ defence is claiming the DNA samples from the Karrakatta rape victim cross-contaminated Ciara’s fingernail samples while both were stored in the Pathwest lab some time between 1997 and 2008.

Mr Edwards has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Sarah Spiers, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon.