Update: Friends and family arrived at Barrister Lloyd Rayney's home this afternoon to help celebrate his acquittal.
By 3pm today about thirty people had already arrived at Mr Rayney's family home, some carrying plates of food other boxes of drinks. Among the arrivals were his legal team and sister Raelene Johnston.
Outside the house Mrs Johnston said: "We have lost a sister-in-law, our family member. She's the mother of my two nieces. They have had to live the last five years not only with the loss of their mother in circumstances they do not know but also they had to be in the spotlight in most difficult circumstances. They have done it with extreme dignity and courage and I'm extremely proud of them."
Mrs Jonhston said she did not have a message for the police, only that "I want to know what happened to my sister-in-law".
Political commentator David Black arrived at the house to offer his support to Mr Rayney on behalf of himself and his wife.
He said he was there to celebrate with his friend and the years Mr Rayney spent fighting his charges had been a "long time".
"We're delighted, absolutely delighted," Mr Black said.
"I'm delighted for his sake and hopefully he can now build his life again."
Earlier today Mr Rayney spoke outside court after being found not guilty of his wife's murder, saying "we still don't know what happened to Corryn, that is a terrible tragedy".
"It's been five years since Sarah and Caitlyn have been without their mum, they haven't been treated well by many people but apart from that they still don't know, we still don't know what happened to Corryn," Mr Rayney said.
"That is a terrible tragedy.
"Despite the best-funded investigation, despite unlimited apparently resources at the disposal of those people investigating this is still unresolved and that is an extremely hard thing for my family to accept."
Justice Brian Martin, hearing the case without a jury, delivered his verdict this morning, finding Mr Rayney not guilty of murder and manslaughter.
In a summary before he delivered his verdict, Justice Martin said there had been “unacceptable conduct” by some police but there was no evidence lines of inquiry were not properly investigated.Justice Martin, who was visibly emotional as he delivered the verdict, said he was satisfied Mrs Rayney returned home on the night of her death on August 7, 2007 and was attacked outside her home.However, he said he was not satisfied her attacker was Mr Rayney.Justice Martin appeared to choke down tears moments before he delivered the verdict.He acknowledged that his verdict may upset some people in the packed court room.He made special mention of what he said was the impeccable conduct of Corryn Rayney's father, Ernest Da Silva."You have behaved impeccably and with dignity," he said.Mr Da Silva and Mrs Rayney's sister were among members of her family present when the verdict was ready out today.Outside court, Mrs Rayney's family thanked police and prosecutors for their efforts and family and friends for their support.Her sister Sharon Coutinho said: “Our quest for seeking justice for Corryn will continue.”Justice Martin said there was some evidence to suggest a sexually-motivated attack and he believed Mrs Rayney likely took her “last breaths” at Kings Park.
Of the dinner place card bearing Mr Rayney’s name and found close to Mrs Rayney’s grave Justice Martin said that sometimes an “apparently incriminating piece has an innocent explanation that is not obvious”.“Sometimes an apparently implausible explanation is true,” he said.“Human affairs are not like jigsaws cut to size and shape.”Justice Martin said Mr Rayney’s demeanour after the murder did not necessarily reflect the behaviour of a guilty man.“There are aspects of his behaviour that might be viewed as consistent… with guilty but (his behaviour) is equally consistent with the conduct of an innocent father who found himself… (in a) particularly traumatic… set of circumstances,” he said.Justice Martin also touched on the subject of the police investigation, which Mr Rayney’s defence team has branded as biased and single-minded.“While there were instances on unacceptable conduct by some investigators, ranging from inappropriate to reprehensible, there is no evidence that lines of inquiry were not properly investigated,” he said.Ultimately, Justice Martin said, the State's case against Mr Rayney was "beset by improbabilities and uncertainties".“Crucial evidence is lacking and the absence of evidence tells strongly against the State," he said.“Endeavours by the State to fill critical gaps and explain away improbabilities are primarily no more than speculation without foundation in the evidence.“The accused has engaged in discreditable conduct, including knowingly arranging for illegal telephone interception, making a false declaration and giving deliberately false evidence to a court while on oath.“The evidence raises suspicion; in some instances quite strong suspicion. But discreditable conduct does not prove guilt and suspicion, even strong suspicion, falls well short of proof beyond reasonable doubt.”
This morning, as Mr Rayney arrived at court he said he was grateful for the support he had received.He told the media "of course" he is innocent.Flanked by daughter Sarah, Mr Rayney appeared calm.Outside the court Mr Rayney described himself as relaxed. Responding to a question from a big media contingent he said: "Of course I'm innocent."His other daughter Caitlyn is studying overseas and has not returned to hear the verdict in her father's willful murder trial.Mr Rayney was charged with the murder of his wife in August 2007.Mrs Rayney's family, including her father and sister, arrived earlier.As Mr Rayney arrived, a member of the public shouted “all the best Lloyd, you’ll get off easy” to which Mr Rayney replied “cheers thanks for that”.A reporter asked Mr Rayney if he thought he’d be talking outside after the verdict and he said “yes I do think I’ll be out talking to you”. He was asked what the public support had been like during the trial and he said “ really good actually, I think people have been listening to the trial and hearing what happened and what didn’t happen, they have become very supportive”.Major Crime detectives arrived wearing their matching Operation Dargan ties. In his summing up two weeks ago, prosecutor John Agius told the court that Mrs Rayney's body may never have been discovered if her car had not struck a bollard near Kings Park after she was buried, creating a trail of fluid that led police to her clandestine grave.“But for the intervention of fate he would have gotten away with it,” Mr Agius said. “But for striking the bollard (at Kings Park) this would have been very successful. He didn’t count on the bollard.
“By the time he has buried her he is tired, his adrenalin is running very, very high ... he has all but achieved his aim.“He made one miscalculation and that miscalculation involves driving the car in reverse over the bollard and from that point onwards his behaviour deteriorates.“To this man, who loves to control everything around him… that loss of control was his undoing.”But in his submission, defence lawyer David Edwardson in said that idea Mr Rayney would be capable of killing his wife in their family home and calmly helping daughter Caitlyn with her homework while Corryn’s body was still awaiting burial “beggars belief”.Mr Edwardson said the prospect Mr Rayney had planned his wife’s murder was impossible because of witness testimony he would not have known he had the house to himself that night and the prospect it had been a spontaneous act did not fit the evidence.Similarly, Mr Edwardson questioned whether Mr Rayney would have been able to welcome his daughter Caitlyn home from a concert and help her with her homework “as though nothing has happened” while Mrs Rayney’s body may have been concealed down the side of the house.“Adrenalin or not how could anyone in those circumstances maintain… composure knowing you had just executed your wife and the mother of your two children, particularly in circumstances where it is common ground that Mr Rayney is and always has been a committed and devoted father,” he said.