In his verdict declaring Lloyd Rayney not guilty of murder or manslaughter, Justice Brian Martin accepted there was an acrimonious marriage breakdown but rejected the prosecution's theory that it drove Mr Rayney to kill his wife Corryn.
He found that on the night she disappeared on August 7, 2007, there had been an agreement by Mr Rayney to provide financial details being requested by his wife, which may have defused some of the tension between them.
The prosecution case, Justice Martin said, was "beset by improbabilities and uncertainties" and, without crucial evidence that was lacking, was "no more than speculation without foundation in the evidence". He found that Mr Rayney had never displayed violence towards Corryn, who was making threats because she wanted him to hand over financial information and move out of their Como home.
These are edited extracts of some of the emails between the warring couple in the months before Mrs Rayney's death.
In the email exchanges, Mr and Mrs Rayney accuse each other of misrepresenting events and situations.
On June 20, 2007, Mr Rayney wrote:
_Your repeated efforts and threats to damage my career are disturbing. For example, I would appreciate it if you did not turn on the lights and abuse me at all hours of the night when I am asleep, as you have done so often in the past when you know that I am in court the next morning. _
_For a very long time you have told me that you want your freedom, are only interested in the money I earn and want me to leave our home. Each of these things was and still is hurtful. The present matter is being used by you to achieve that purpose. _
_Your behaviour towards me has become increasingly worse. _
On June 21, 2007, Mrs Rayney responded:
_Stop your nonsense. This response is self serving, and plainly so. Don't embarrass yourself further. _
_(The family accountant) told me clearly that you will not give me disclosure of your business figure, and that I would have to obtain Court orders to get that information. He told you that you were obliged to provide them and you refused and said I would have to pursue them in Court. That is your choice. _
_If that is your position, so be it. _
_You are bringing a lot of irreversible harm to a lot of people. I trust you have weighed that up and made your decision wisely. I cannot tolerate this position for one more minute. _
_Whatever financial information you are concealing from me, I will access by whatever means are available. You can make that as difficult or as easy as you like. _
On June 26, 2007, Mr Rayney responded to a vitriolic email from his wife:
_It is hypocritical to pretend that it was me who causes distress to our children when you are the culprit. _
_On Monday night you woke (a child) and me up at 11.40 pm to abuse me and to demand that I give you the mobile and home phone numbers for Raelene and Bradley (the accused's sister and brother in law). You then left and returned to (the child's) bedroom a further 3 times to insult me. _
_Your behaviour was so awful that (the child) pleaded with you to stop but you would not. _
_It must truly be a frightful thing for a (age) year old to be repeatedly woken by her mum abusing her dad. _
And in June, he wrote:
_I would like to make something clear from my perspective. _
_Your behaviour to me has often been abusive, spiteful and harassing. It has been tolerated by me for the sake of the children and in the hope that you may change but you have not and you are becoming progressively worse. _
_However, there are three matters which should not be tolerated. The first and second matters concern Caitlyn and Sarah. The third my legal career. _
_I have asked you before and am asking you again, please do not try and harm my career or reputation, or use your position at the court to achieve that end. _
_I hope you agree with me on these three matters. I strongly prefer that we try and sort things out amicably. It is in everyone's interest to do so. I am not interested in a war of e-mails but I hope you understand why these three matters are important. _
The acrimony continued into the following month, when about 9.30am on July 6, Mrs Rayney wrote to her sister Sharon Coutinho:
_He keeps very quiet and plays the victim. He is too afraid he might let something slip, I suppose. _
_He has always painted me as the wrongdoer, all the while being the most intolerably, lazy, dirty, wasteful, manipulative, incompetent and deceitful person I have ever come across. _
_He left his apartment in Bermuda so dirty that they wrote to him and told him that "he wouldn't know what clean was". And this man thinks he will care for my children! _
_He has not made a single decision in our married life - apart from buy rubbish and hire gym equipment that he is too lazy to use. _
_I am determined that he will not benefit from anything I have done. He has been too busy leading a double life. This is what Julie puts his constant sleeping affliction down to. _
_Yes, we will do him slowly. _
_I'm keeping my mouth shut and putting together all the information. The fool will suffer badly for dragging it out. The longer he waits, the more information I will have. _
On the last email copied to her friend Julie Porter, on August 3, 2007, Mrs Rayney wrote to her lawyer that she was incensed at a letter from Mr Rayney's lawyer.
_With the conduct that has been described to me I am not prepared to be on the back foot any more. He needs to feel the heat. The following information has been given to me from very reliable sources: 1. He was openly having an affair with a young lawyer at the DPP, who I have met. _
_2. He was unwelcome in Bermuda, where he worked for 18 months, because of his shameless womanising. At that time I was solely responsible for the children and he did not send money to assist me. I was working part-time. I also paid for a complete painting of the home. _
_3. He was recently paid at least $200,000 for a trial, plus significant amounts of money for his work in (another) matter. I feel sure that this is the trigger to his concealing his accounts. I am concerned that given the nature of his clientele, large amounts may have been paid in cash and remain beyond reach. _
_He has shown himself to be less than honest over many years. Why should I have to endure such a long and unexplained delay in the provision of his financials. This needs to be addressed most stridently. _
_He now says he "confessed to his gambling". He has never done so. _
_Perhaps this is the way in to demand financials immediately. _
_This will not settle, unless he realises how bad things are going to be for him. We need to turn the heat up. I am living with a snake. Well known in legal circles as a snake. It is intolerable. _
In his verdict declaring Mr Rayney not guilty of murder or manslaughter, Justice Martin accepted that there was an acrimonious marriage breakdown but strongly rejected the prosecution's theory that it drove Mr Rayney to kill his wife.
Justice Martin said that the volume of emails was not relevant to whether the evidence supported findings of fact.He noted that Mr Rayney was devoted to his children and wanted a resolution in their best interests which included being with their mother and that "on this view the evidence tends to support the case for the defence that no motive existed other than to ensure that the children could continue to be raised by their mother".
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