The West

No sign of affair, say friends
No sign of affair, say friends

Corryn Rayney denied she was having an affair with a single father from her daughters' private school, with confidantes of the mother of two testifying yesterday the pair had a good friendship and nothing more.

Maria Soares and Judith Hickey-Janes were witnesses in the Supreme Court where Lloyd Rayney has pleaded not guilty to wilfully murdering his wife of 17 years on the night of August 7, 2007.

Mrs Rayney's two friends said they were aware of the couple's marriage problems.

They testified about Mrs Rayney's suspicions that her husband was unfaithful and her own denial that she had an affair with a male parent from the school.

Ms Soares told the judge-alone trial that Mrs Rayney said she had been "aware that Lloyd was having an affair with someone from the (Office of the) Director of Public Prosecutions", where he worked before joining Francis Burt Chambers as a barrister.

In her evidence, which included a statement, Ms Soares said her friend had been "bitter" and gathered "evidence" to use against her husband, despite Mr Rayney's hopes of a reconciliation, which he aired to Ms Soares weeks before his wife's death.

Asked by Mr Rayney's lawyer whether she saw anything to suggest a sexual relationship between Mrs Rayney and a single father she socialised with, Ms Soares said no.

She testified she had once asked Mrs Rayney about whether she had an affair.

"I asked Corryn directly if there was anything happening . . . and she said no," Ms Soares said.

She said Mr Rayney once mentioned that while he was working in Bermuda, his parents visited the family home and found Mrs Rayney having dinner with the man, which he thought was "not proper".

Ms Hickey-Janes said she never saw evidence of an affair and testified the single father was considered a part of "all the mothers' activities".

"I saw a friendship," she said.

Ms Hickey-Janes said in her statement she believed Mrs Rayney "just adored the man as a friend", possibly because he was different to her husband and was "loud, funny, rough and ready, smoked and drank".

Yesterday's evidence follows testimony from another friend, Julie Porter, who said in her statement that Mrs Rayney told her she "felt like she was living with the enemy".

She said Mrs Rayney had planned to reveal her husband's gambling and alleged womanising and tell one of their daughters about his alleged affairs.

The West Australian

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