Cop denies claims that burial test was biased
Det-Sgt Ian Moore. Picture: John Mokrzycki, The West Australian

Police deliberately tailored a re- enactment of Corryn Rayney's Kings Park burial to fit a theory that Lloyd Rayney was the culprit, the barrister's defence team suggested yesterday.

The accusation prompted Det-Sgt Ian Moore to say that while he had personally believed Mr Rayney was a person of interest or a suspect, he had not tried to recreate a scenario on the night of September 5, 2007 that was consistent with the theory.

The exchange came as defence lawyer David Edwardson yesterday continued questioning the detective about the reconstruction, in which Det-Sgt Moore dug a replica of Mrs Rayney's grave in nearby Kings Park bush within 19 minutes.

Mrs Rayney was killed on August 7, 2007.

Her body was then driven to Kings Park in her own car and buried upside-down in a 1.2m-deep grave.

The judge-alone trial has been told the detective, who is 178cm tall and weighs about 85kg, carried out the test burial on a night estimated to have similar moonlight as the original burial, and using a "common" garden spade and torch.

Yesterday, Mr Edwardson attacked the merit of the exercise, highlighting it was carried out about midnight despite a witness account police had already received about Mrs Rayney's car possibly being driven on nearby Thomas Street about 5.20am.

The court has heard evidence from another witness about a car that may have been Mrs Rayney's being driven on the same street about 2.25am.

Mrs Rayney's car was dumped on Kershaw Street, Subiaco. The State alleges Mr Rayney took 1½ hours to walk to his Como home where his children were asleep.

Yesterday, Mr Edwardson asked Det-Sgt Moore whether he "deliberately" avoided doing the reconstruction at 5.20am "because . . . it would have been impossible for (Mr Rayney) to get home by walking before his children got up."

Det-Sgt Moore rejected the suggestion. He said the reconstruction was designed to give an "approximation" of what an "average" person could do with an "average" digging implement and torch.

"I am not a scientist, I am a policeman," he said, rejecting Mr Edwardson's suggestion the re-enactment was designed to support the theory Mr Rayney was responsible.

During Det-Sgt Moore's cross- examination, the wilful murder trial heard the police investigation included an extensive search for possible sightings of the killer.

Main Roads CCTV cameras were scoured for footage of Mrs Rayney's vehicle between the Bentley Community Centre, where she had finished a dance class before her murder, and her Kings Park gravesite.

Questionnaires had been aimed at as many Perth taxi drivers as possible, asking them what suburbs they worked in that night, whether they remembered any passengers who hailed them or anything else of interest.

Det-Sgt Moore agreed there were no reported sightings of Mr Rayney walking home early on August 8, 2007, and that no taxi drivers had connected him to his wife's death.

Justice Martin noted the prosecution had never sought to rely on such evidence.

The West Australian

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