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Blood in car may have been nurse's: court

AAP logoAAP 30/09/2016 Miranda Forster

Traces of blood were found on a pair of pliers and overalls in the boot of murder accused Robert John Adams' car 11 days after Sydney nurse Mary Wallace vanished, a court has heard.

A retired detective who led the original investigation into Ms Wallace's September 1983 disappearance gave evidence at Adams' trial that the blood traces were found during a forensic examination of the Holden sedan on October 5, 1983.

Retired detective inspector James Counsel confirmed police were told the blood was that of either Adams or Ms Wallace, but the matter couldn't be taken further, with the court hearing the investigation pre-dated DNA profiling.

Adams, 64, has pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to murdering Ms Wallace on September 24, 1983.

The court has heard the popular 33-year-old nurse was last seen leaving a Crows Nest nightspot in Adams' car about 4am on September 24.

According to Mr Counsel, Adams' flatmate Suzanne Beckingham told police she saw Adams wash his car seat covers and clean out the boot with a hose and rags on September 25, 1983.

"In all the time she had been living in the unit she had not seen Adams wash out the boot of his vehicle on any previous occasions," Mr Counsel told the court, reading from a record of Ms Beckingham's September 29, 1983, police interview.

Adams told police he fell asleep in his car after attempting to have consensual sex with Ms Wallace and she was gone when he awoke.

Mr Counsel said a night security guard who patrolled the street in which Adams said his car was parked told police he didn't see the vehicle.

Crown prosecutor Mark Hobart SC said in his opening statement on Tuesday that Adams was arrested in 2013 after advances in technology allowed police to match hairs found in his car's boot to Ms Wallace's DNA profile.

Mr Hobart said Adams had raped three women in the 1970s and the crown case was that he tried to strangle Ms Wallace in line with his previous attacks on women.

The trial is due to resume on October 4 before Justice Richard Button.

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