Cases closed in Rayney trial
Lloyd Rayney arrives at court yesterday. Picture: Lee Griffith, The West Australian

After 12 weeks of proceedings, more than 100 people called to testify and more than 700 exhibits, evidence in the Lloyd Rayney wilful murder trial ended yesterday.

On the same day that the prosecution closed its case, the defence team announced that Mr Rayney, who denies any involvement in his wife Corryn's death in August 2007, was exercising his right not to give evidence.

A string of defence witnesses gave their evidence during the prosecution case, to accommodate their schedules, so Mr Rayney's lawyers only had to tender a list of exhibits before closing their case within an hour yesterday.

Justice Brian Martin formally adjourned the hearing to October 18 when the State is expected to present closing submissions.

Mr Rayney's defence team, who have sought to discredit the police investigation as biased and forensically flawed, will give their submissions the next day.

Defence witnesses included experts who were used to rebut forensic material allegedly showing Mrs Rayney, a Supreme Court registrar, came home from a bootscooting class before being killed.

Prosecutors claim the Perth barrister fatally attacked his estranged wife at their home over their bitter marriage split and buried her at Kings Park.

More than 100 statements from prosecution witnesses were tendered over the last two days, including statements from senior members of WA's legal fraternity who were colleagues and associates of the couple.

Among them were Chief Justice Wayne Martin and Supreme Court Justice John McKechnie.

Exhibits in the case have ranged from Mrs Rayney's cowboy boots to audiovisual recordings of her husband's speech at their wedding and the eulogy he gave at her funeral.

The high profile of the case meant that sometimes crowds spilt out of the packed public gallery as keenly anticipated witnesses took the stand.

Relatives of the Rayneys attended daily, and members of the legal fraternity and the general community - many of them retirees - also came.

Mr Rayney had his bail extended yesterday until the end of closings.

He was granted bail in late 2010 after a judge considered the welfare of his two teenage daughters, the delay in getting to trial and the inconvenience of preparing his defence from behind bars.

The West Australian

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