The West

Rayney trial continues on anniversary

Update, 3:25pm: A phone conversation between Lloyd Rayney and his lawyer on the day police arrived to search his Como home has been played to his murder trial.

On the tape Mr Rayney is heard asking his lawyer at the time to come to his house where police had arrived with a search warrant. He said police, who can be heard in the background, had arrived to search his home and were banging and shouting to be let in.

Mark Fogg, at the time an exhibits officer with the WA Police, told the court he was one of a team of major crime squad detectives who arrived at the home on September 20, 2007.

"Initially all of the officers went to the front door of the premises... then (another detective) knocked on the front door and was yelling that it was the police and the premises were to be opened," Mr Fogg said.

He said they waited for about two minutes but the door was not opened. The other officers went to the rear of the property.

"I remained at the front door of the premises... there is a glass panel on the main door that allowed me to see through," Mr Fogg said.

"I saw Mr Rayney... he had a telephone to his ear."

Justice Brian Martin indicated to the court it was of "absolutely no concern to me" that Mr Rayney may have delayed in opening the door. However prosecutor John Agius indicated the prosecution would allege the delay may also have given Mr Rayney the opportunity to secrete a recording device. No such device was found by police.

Mr Fogg said did not see Mr Rayney trying to hide anything but could only see him walking and talking on the phone. He said he included Mr Rayney's behaviour in his statement because it struck him as "unusual" not because he necessarily believed at the time it was "important".

"It was deemed to me to be unusual behaviour," he said.

"From what I saw (he was doing) nothing other than making a phone call while walking around."

Earlier Mr Rayney's defence team has continued to attack the credibility and objectivity of the police investigation, arguing a re-enactment of Mrs Rayney's death was aimed at making the facts fit their belief that Mr Rayney was guilty.

David Edwardson's cross-examination of Detective Sergeant Ian Moore came during the officer's second day on the stand, during which it emerged that:

- Police interviewed any taxi driver who was working on the night Mrs Rayney was killed and scrutinised CCTV footage from Subiaco train station.

- No taxi driver working on the night of Mrs Rayney's death identified Mr Rayney.

- A place card with Corryn Rayney's name on it was found in her boot.

- A dinner place card bearing Mr Rayney's name, which came from a work dinner a little over a week before Mrs Rayney's death, is a key piece of evidence in the prosecution. However, Mrs Rayney did not attend that dinner because she was in Melbourne with her daughters.

- Police used metal detectors at the Rayney home to try to find missing teeth from the zip on Mrs Rayney’s jeans. They did not find anything.

Mrs Rayney was found with her belt undone, the top button on her jeans undone, and her zip broken and half undone. The prosecution suggested the belt, zip and button were likely that way to make it easier for her to be buried.

In today's cross-examination Det Sgt Moore was asked by Mr Edwardson why the police put more faith in some witness statements than others.

In particular Mr Edwardson raised a statement given by a one-time resident of Thomas Street in Subiaco, who has since died, regarding seeing a silver sedan driving after 5am on August 8, 2007. Mrs Rayney's car was a silver Ford Fairmont.

The prosecution has already suggested this statement should be discounted. Instead it has put up as a witness another Thomas Street resident who told the court last week she heard a car in distress at 2.25am or 2.26am that night.

Given one witness had seen a car as late as after 5am Mr Edwardson asked why Det Sgt Moore and his fellow police officer had not staged their re-enactment of Mrs Rayney's burial – which included digging a hole and burying a police academy training dummy - later than they did. The court heard yesterday that re-enactment started shortly before midnight on the night of September 5, 2007, a little under a month after Mrs Rayney's death.

Mr Edwardson asked Det Sgt Moore if he had been "deliberately choosing" a time that was more consistent with the police's theory that Mr Rayney had killed his wife. If the witness that said he saw Mrs Rayney's car after 5am was correct, Mr Edwardson said, it would have been "all but impossible" for Mr Rayney to walk home that night, which is what the State alleges he did.

Responding to Mr Edwardson's questions Det Sgt Moore said "no".

"(The re-enactment) was an approximation of the evidence we had, he said. "It was an approximation of what we knew at the time."

Asked by Justice Brian Martin if Mr Rayney was regarded as a suspect at the time Det Sgt Moore said he believed the Perth barrister was 'a person of interest or a suspect, there's a bit of blurry lines between that."

Other witnesses to take the stand briefly today included Senior Sergeant Fiona McQuiston, who attended a preliminary examination of Mrs Rayney's body a day before her post-mortem.

Former WA police officer Paul McLoughlin, who was present at Mrs Rayney's post-mortem to take photos, also testified. Mr McLoughlin also took part in a visit to the Rayney's Como home, again to take photos.

The West Australian

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