The West

Body dragged by one person
Evidence: Boots the prosecution says Corryn Rayney was wearing the night she died.

Corryn Rayney was likely dragged through her front yard by one person in a hurry to conceal her body, the Supreme Court was told yesterday.

Prosecutor John Agius used the second day of his opening address to elaborate on forensic evidence crucial to the circumstantial case.

Mr Agius said there were "no other reasonable hypotheses" besides a dead Mrs Rayney being dragged across the ground, both under the armpits and by her legs, on August 7, 2007, because of a collection of plant, soil and red brick dust fragments ingrained on the 44-year-old's body, hair, clothing and boots.

"All the more important why somebody would want her buried," the prosecutor said. "All the more important why somebody would want her never to be found because without finding her, you could never trace her back to the house."

Mr Agius said if two people were involved in moving the body, it was likely they would have picked up and carried Mrs Rayney.

He suggested two scenarios to Justice Brian Martin, including that Mr Rayney immediately dragged his dead wife, who weighed 78kg and was 170cm tall, to her Ford Fairmont and then hid the car.

The second scenario was that the accused concealed her body on the property, possibly at the side of the house, parked her car nearby - perhaps at the shops, local school or further down the street - waited for his elder daughter Caitlyn to return home from a concert and go to bed and then disposed of the body.

Mr Agius said it was possible Mr Rayney struck Mrs Rayney on the front porch before she even entered her Como home.

The court was told Mrs Rayney's body fluid was found on the edge of the car boot, which indicated the killer had tried to put her body in the boot but was unable to do it and opted for the back seat. Mrs Rayney's blood was found on the back seat where her head rested, Mr Agius said.

The court was told scuff marks and gouges on the outside of Mrs Rayney's black bootscooting boots, which were found in her car, also strengthened the argument she was dragged. Mr Agius said a biomechanics expert would testify the most likely explanation for the boot marks and red brick fragments and soil found in the gouges was that Mrs Rayney had been dragged under the armpits while unconscious.

He said Mrs Rayney's bootscooting teacher Glenn Dale inspected the marks on the boots and concluded that he had "never seen damage like that caused by bootscooting because it's on the outside and it's too severe".

Conflicting evidence from two witnesses will be submitted about the possible time Mrs Rayney's damaged car was stalled and abandoned in Kershaw Street in Subiaco.

The prosecution alleges the car was damaged by a bollard at Kings Park while Mr Rayney was allegedly using the car to transport her body.

Mr Agius said one Thomas Road resident was awake about 2.25am on August 8, 2007, when she heard car noises which would be similar to the sound coming from Mrs Rayney's damaged car.

Another witness, who has since died, told police he saw a car making a loud pitch noise being driven "erratically" at 70km/h by a man of slim build with dark, straight hair about 5.20am.

That witness also said he saw a silver sedan parked on Kershaw Street that same morning, which smelt of oil fumes, with the front passenger window down slightly. However, Mr Agius said that did not sit comfortably with prosecutors because when police first examined the car on August 14, all the windows were closed.

The prosecutor said a rubbish bin collector would give evidence that he saw a silver car leaking oil on Kershaw Street between 7.51am and 7.57am on August 8.

Mrs Rayney's car keys and the shovel used to dig her grave have never been found.

The West Australian

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