Vic man in court over historical attacks

A 74-year-old man has faced court over a series of sex attacks between 1971 and 1984.
A 74-year-old man has faced court over a series of sex attacks between 1971 and 1984.

A 74-year-old man has faced a Melbourne court accused of burgling homes, raping women and girls, and abducting a victim by force, during a historical crime spree.

Raymond Edmunds appeared via video link in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday for a filing hearing, charged with 31 offences.

The offences relate to 11 incidents that allegedly occurred between 1971 to 1984 across Greensborough, Clayton, Wheelers Hill, Edithvale, Dingley and Donvale.

Edmunds is charged with four counts of rape, three of indecent assault, four counts of carnal knowledge and abducting a woman by force.

He is also charged with 10 counts of burglary with intent to assault, during which he was sometimes armed with a knife, or in one case, a four-foot plank of wood.

Edmunds is also accused of assault causing grievous bodily harm.

Clad in a white T-shirt and dark rimmed glasses, he was not required to speak during the short hearing.

The charges follow an investigation by the sexual crimes squad cold case team, which in 2017 began reviewing all previous investigations into the alleged incidents.

The squad's Detective Inspector Steve Wilson said the laying of the charges on Thursday should send a strong message to victims and offenders of sexual offences.

"I want victims to feel heartened that we are charging someone this week over incidents that occurred as much as 47 years ago," he said.

"We are continually seeing the evolution and improvement of technology that can assist with these investigations, particularly our cold case sexual assaults."

Magistrate Felicity Broughton remanded Edmunds in custody to face court again on April 12.

Australian Associated Press