John and Sharon Edwards. Photo: contributed
John and Sharon Edwards. Photo: contributed

Sharon's lover takes stand again as evidence questioned

SHARON Edwards' lover was again called to give evidence in the trial of her alleged murder, after the defence raised questions over what he was doing the night she disappeared four years ago.

The trial of John Wallace Edwards, 62, who pleaded not guilty to the murder of his estranged wife, continued in Coffs Harbour Supreme Court on Monday, with the intricacies of the investigation detailed for the jury.

William "Billy" Mills took the stand for the second time after his initial evidence didn't match records.

In his initial evidence to the court, Mr Mills said, on March 14, 2015 he and Mrs Edwards had spent a few hours at the Good Intent Hotel, South Grafton.

He said he spent the night at his friend's house in South Grafton after he and Mrs Edwards had fled her Grafton home having seen the accused's car parked in the garage. He said Mrs Edwards returned to her home.

Mr Mills told the court initially he received a call from his son, Jason, about 3am Sunday. The court heard that phone records didn't match this story.

Defence barrister Peter O'Connor suggested the call was a "fabrication" as records showed only three calls between the father and son from 8am onwards that day.

"I'm sure he rang me at three o'clock, if the records don't show that then I don't know what's happened," Mr Mills said.

Mr O'Connor asked Mr Mills if he snuck out and went to the Riverdale Crt house the night she went missing.

"No, I did not," he said.

The intricacies of the investigation into Mrs Edwards' disappearance were told to the court by the leading detectives on the case.

In the days after she went missing police searched a 100-acre property on Tanglewood Rd, Lawrence, that belonged to Mr and Mrs Edwards.

The court heard a search conducted by NSW Police, NSW SES and a cadaver dog, took several hours in the often-dense bushland.

Police also searched Bullock Swamp Creek, west of Lawrence.

Detective Matthew Sippel told the court after Mr Edwards was arrested in June 2017 his Lawrence home was again searched and the backyard excavated. He said a brown, Akubra-style hat was found "embedded in soil" under a concrete slab.

Detective Senior Constable Douglas Scott told the court Mr Edwards' mobile and landline phones were intercepted and his Lawrence home was fitted with listening devices.

He said one month after Mrs Edwards' disappearance police searched the Fitzroy St, Grafton, boat ramp, identified as the nearest access to the Clarence River from Mrs Edwards' Riverdale Crt home.

The trial continues before Justice Robert Hulme.

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