Lloyd Rayney told the police officers who broke into his house to search it that he had been frightened by their “banging” and did not realise they were police, his Supreme Court murder trial was told today.
The court also heard evidence of Corryn Rayney’s close friendship with another man, with a string of her friends telling the court they were aware of the friendship but saw no signs she was having an affair.
Police went to Mr Rayney’s house with a search warrant on September 20, 2007 and tried to gain access.
When nobody answered the door they ultimately entered the house and subsequently searched it and arrested Mr Rayney, who was inside.
Under cross-examination police officer Sergeant Gregor Hart agreed Mr Rayney said words to the effect that the police had not identified themselves when they were knocking on the door.
Defence lawyer Tony Elliot suggested Mr Rayney told Sgt Hart “I heard people banging for a very long time” and that he had been “frightened”.
Sgt Hart said: “I can recall him saying he heard people banging … he indicated to me that he was concerned and had rung his lawyer as a result of not knowing who was at the door”.
The prosecution has previously alleged Mr Rayney delayed answering the door to give him time to hide a listening device. No such device was found.
Sgt Hart said he told Mr Rayney he was being arrested on suspicion of a phone tapping related offence and on suspicion of his wife’s murder.
He was subsequently charged with the phone tapping offence but was not charged with his wife’s murder until three years later.
Sgt Hart said he did not recall a conversation with Mr Rayney after he was arrested in which Mr Elliot suggested the officer asked Mr Rayney what he was going to tell his children and told him that if the "burden" was too much Mr Rayney could "always speak to me".
He denied telling Mr Rayney he would be charged with Mrs Rayney’s murder.
Two other police witnesses were called to the trial today.
Detective Sergeant Paul Robinson gave evidence Mr Rayney told him, after his wife had disappeared, that the home alarm system was not working. He said he did not investigate whether the claim was true at the time but took his statement at face value.
"I knew who Mr Rayney was... he told me it wasn’t working and I took it at that," he said.
Prosecutor John Agius claimed in his opening address Mr Rayney lied about the alarm system not working to prevent police gaining access to the system’s memory and thus conceal the fact he set the alarm on the night of August 7, 2007 when he left his daughters alone at home and drove his wife’s body to Kings Park.
By the time police accessed the alarm memory, records from the night of August 7 were no longer available because too much time had passed.
Another police officer, Superintendent John Brandham gave evidence about Mr Rayney’s demeanour on August 8, 2007 - the day after Mrs Rayney disappeared.
Supt Brandham, who was being represented by Mr Rayney at a Corruption and Crime Commission hearing at the time, said Mr Rayney "appeared happy and normal". Under cross-examination Supt Brandham said Mr Rayney became anxious later in the day, at one point telling him "I can’t find my wife".
A number of Mrs Rayney’s friends appeared in court today to give evidence about Mrs Rayney’s close friendship with a father whose children attended the same school as the Rayneys’ daughters.
The court was told Mrs Rayney and the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had coffee and at least one dinner together. He and his daughter also spent a long weekend with Mrs Rayney, her daughters and another family several years before her death.
But the friends said they saw no evidence of an affair.
Friend Maria Soares also gave evidence the Rayneys’ eldest daughter Caitlyn asked to live with her mother if her parents split up.
"Caitlyn knew her parents were splitting up because (she)... once made the comment that ’if you and Dad are splitting up... can you make sure that we stay with you’," Ms Soares told the court.
The court heard from professionals who treated Mrs Rayney for neck and hip problems and stress-related complaints, including insomnia and chest pain.
Physiotherapist David McMullen said he treated Mrs Rayney for hip pain and neck pain, which appeared to be causing her headaches.
Mr McMullen said Mrs Rayney had recently taken up running, which had caused the hip problems.
Homeopath Jaya Krishnan said she treated Mrs Rayney for various complaints over the course of about a year, starting in June 2006, including high cholesterol, headaches and insomnia.
Ms Krishnan gave evidence that when Mrs Rayney came to see her on July 7, 2007 – exactly a month before she was killed – she appeared to be “under tremendous stress and… pressure”.
Corryn Rayney’s credit card records were today tendered as evidence in the trial. The Visa records for the period March 20 to April 18, 2007 relate to a set of Stanley Adams brand handkerchiefs Mrs Rayney allegedly bought for her husband from a Matahari department store in Bali.
One of the handkerchiefs was allegedly found at the bottom of her Kings Park grave.
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