The jury in the trial of a man accused of killing an Irish woman and two others more than two decades ago has heard details of the last day of her life before her body was found dumped in bushland 50km north of Perth.
Bradley Robert Edwards is on trial in a Western Australia Supreme Court. He is accused of the murder of Ciara Glennon (27) on March 14, 1997.
He is also accused of murdering Jane Rimmer (23) and Sarah Spiers (18).
Ms Glennon's family is originally from Westport, Co Mayo. Her father Denis was sitting in the front row of a packed public gallery for the start of the trial which heard that Ms Glennon was out with friends celebrating St Patrick's Day when she disappeared.
Mr Edwards has pleaded not guilty.
Ms Glennon's body was discovered by a 23-year-old man who was walking in the area looking for cannabis.
The discovery was made three weeks after she went missing.
In her opening address to the court, State Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo outlined in detail the last day of Ms Glennon’s life before her body was found dumped in bushland, 50km north of Perth.
She detailed 12 instances where witnesses claim they saw a lone woman matching Ciara’s description walking near the Continental Hotel after she left to catch a taxi.
The state is expected to rely heavily on DNA evidence in the trial. In particular, it will focus on Ms Glennon's broken fingernails.
The state is expected to argue Ms Glennon scratched Mr Edwards face before he murdered her, with DNA allegedly located underneath her fingernails when her body was found.
Ms Barbagallo said during an examination of Ciara’s body a large defect was discovered on her neck, and two large defects were found on her upper and lower arms.
She said the defects across her face and neck, which were around 12 to 21cm long, were consistent with a “sawing type action”.
The court heard that Ms Glennon's body was found in a "strikingly similar manner" to that of Ms Rimmer.
Ciara Glennon was described as "a bright, happy and determined young woman” who had studied law at UWA before starting work at a law firm in Perth central business district.
“She came from a close and loving family,” Ms Barbagallo said. “Ciara took 12 months leave to travel overseas, returning on March 1, 1997 - 14 days before she disappeared.”
The trial continues.