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Crown sums up at NSW nurse murder trial

AAP logoAAP 25/10/2016 Margaret Scheikowski

A convicted rapist accused of murdering a Sydney nurse 33 years ago had a tendency to choke women to force them into having sex, a judge has been told.

Robert James Adams threatened to throw one woman in a river, saying "I will f*** you either dead or alive", prosecutor Mark Hobart SC said on Tuesday.

He was giving the crown's final address in the NSW Supreme Court trial of Adams, 64, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mary Louise Wallace.

The 33-year-old, whose body has never been found, was drinking with friends in September 1983 at a North Shore wine bar when she met Adams, who offered her a lift home.

He told police they had sexual contact in his car before he fell asleep and woke to find she had disappeared.

Adams showed "consciousness of guilt" by cleaning his car boot the day after Ms Wallace's disappearance, Mr Hobart said.

Describing the evidence as compelling, he said Adams had never previously been seen to wash his boot and told a flatmate he had killed some ducks in a national park.

"The crown says that once the accused killed the deceased, he placed her body in the boot of his vehicle," he said.

"The reason he was washing the boot was to remove any incriminating evidence left by the deceased."

Hairs found in the boot of his car were tested in 2013 and were identical to hairs obtained from a brush used by Ms Wallace, Mr Hobart said.

Adams had developed a modus operandi of meeting women at bars, isolating them in his car, and attempting to choke them to force them to have sex, Mr Hobart said.

The crown called evidence involving three women who said they were raped in 1975, 1976 and 1978 respectively, after their attacker tried to strangle them.

Adams served time after pleading guilty to the 1976 rape, which involved him putting his hands around the victim's throat and trying to choke her.

He told police: "I need psychiatric help. I must be mad to do these things", Mr Hobart said.

The other two women each gave evidence of fearing for their lives when their throats were squeezed in separate rape attacks.

Adams was charged with raping one of the women but she told the court she left NSW before his trial because "I was so frightened of him".

His barrister, Peter Lange, will make the defence final submissions on Wednesday.

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