Edwards 'fabricated' stories to remove suspicion, court told
FROM the moment Sharon Edwards went missing, her estranged husband began "painting a picture of his innocence", a court has heard.
The prosecution said John Wallace Edwards was the last person to see his wife alive on March 14, 2015 and has since given 13 different accounts of what happened.
The prosecution delivered its closing statement in the Coffs Harbour Supreme Court trial against the 62-year-old, accused of murdering his estranged wife. The prosecutor laid out circumstantial evidence and submitted that it made an "overwhelming" case of Mr Edwards's guilt.
The Crown case was Mr Edwards killed his wife, likely in her Grafton home, put her body in the back of his ute and disposed of it north of Grafton. Her body has never been found.
"There can be no doubt Sharon Edwards is dead," the prosecutor told the jury.
The court heard Mrs Edwards was looking forward to a future with the man she was in a long-term affair with, William 'Billy' Mills.
The Crown prosecutor said the accused was the last person to see his wife alive on March 14, or the early hours of March 15, 2015. A portion of a media appeal made by the accused and his three sons weeks after Mrs Edwards' disappeared was played in court. It showed Mr Edwards raise his hand when a journalist asked who was last to see her.
"The last time he (Mr Edwards) saw his wife the accused was angry she was intending to bring Billy Mills back to the house he had purchased," the prosecutor said.
"He held long-standing and considerable dislike for Mr Mills after an affair in the early years of their marriage."
The Crown submitted on the night Mrs Edwards was last seen alive she was out with Mr Mills and planned to stay with him at the Grafton house - a prospect Mr Edwards resented.
The prosecution suggested while the accused waited at the house for Mrs Edwards to get home he "worked himself into a rage" ready to confront her.
The Crown identified 13 different versions of events Mr Edwards gave, ranging from him not seeing Mrs Edwards at all on Saturday night to him pinning Mrs Edwards to the ground after an argument.
The court heard Mr Edwards's conduct in the days following Mrs Edwards's disappearance was "inconsistent" with that of a man distressed at the loss of a loved one.
The prosecutor said he made no attempt to contact hospitals until later advised to.
He also did not contact Mrs Edwards's father who she regularly visited nor did he contact close friends the day after her disappearance.
"He knew she wasn't missing. He knew he killed her," the prosecutor said.
In conversations since her disappearance, the Crown submitted Mr Edwards spoke negatively about his wife, in a conversation with her best friend he failed to ask if she had heard from her.
The Crown said Mr Edwards was "painting a picture of innocence" to police by romanticising the relationship Mrs Edwards was walking away from.
In messages between close friends it was revealed Mrs Edwards felt she was "cheating on Billy" when spending time with her husband.
The prosecutor said she had engaged a solicitor for advice on property division.
The defence is expected to give its closing address on Monday.