Update, 12.50pm: Corryn Rayney’s relationship with another man was “clearly” more than a friendship, Lloyd Rayney’s lawyer David Edwardson told his Supreme Court murder trial today.
Speaking before any witnesses were called today as part of a complex legal argument, Mr Edwardson signalled the defence would claim Mrs Rayney “concealed from her friends the true nature of the relationship” with the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
“This person in question clearly was more than just a friend,” Mr Edwardson said.
“Moreover it would seem that the deceased concealed from her friends the true nature of the relationship or friendship.”
Several of Mrs Rayney’s friends gave evidence last week that her relationship with a single father from her daughters’ private school was nothing more than a friendship.
One friend testified Mrs Rayney denied having an affair when asked.
When Justice Brian Martin queried the relevance of whether Mrs Rayney had an affair, Mr Edwardson said the alleged affair showed Mrs Rayney was “prepared to behave in a private way outside of her marriage and outside of her immediate close circle of friends”.
Mr Edwardson said the alleged affair went to the question of how Mrs Rayney may have behaved.
For example, he said the State’s case was that she was unlikely to have gone to meet someone either after bootscooting or early in the morning before work. But, Mr Edwardson said, “this particular person is a person that she might have met”.
The court also heard from members of Perth's legal fraternity.
Supreme Court of WA associate Yvonne Pereira, who listened to Mrs Rayney's phone messages on the morning of August 8, 2007 when she did not turn up for work, told the court Mr Rayney left two messages for his wife and later visited her office, where he seemed "concerned". She said the Rayneys' oldest daughter Caitlyn also left a message, saying: "Mum, you left home without saying goodbye".
The trial heard evidence of a conversation between Mr Rayney and Geoffrey Dutton, a Perth lawyer with whom he was on friendly terms, shortly after Mrs Rayney disappeared.
Mr Dutton said to Mr Rayney: "You must be the strongest man emotionally or you must have done it." Mr Rayney allegedly replied: "That's what others think too."
The prosecution claims Mr Rayney's failure to deny he had killed his wife amounted to an admission of guilt.
The conversation between Mr Dutton and Mr Rayney took place in the context of Mr Rayney’s discomfort at people on the street looking at him and making comments about him.
Mr Dutton, who knows Mr Rayney from their days at school together, gave evidence about Mr Rayney’s personality, saying he was “a tough bloke”.
“Lloyd’s a very strong person physically and mentally and he can deal with a lot of pressure,” he said. “It’s not out of Lloyd’s character to be able to pick himself up.”
Mr Rayney’s demeanour in the days and weeks following his wife’s death has been raised as an issue by the prosecution.
Also today prosecutor John Agius said the State hoped to finish its case against Mr Rayney next week. He said key witnesses yet to come would be Mr Rayney's sister, the Rayneys' two daughters, the investigating police officer and a pathologist and neuropathologist who examined Mrs Rayney's body.
The trial has been adjourned for the day and will resume Tuesday at 10am.