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Cigarette twist links a person cops knew
Cigarette twist links 'a person cops knew'

A resident near Kings Park told police she heard a "blood-curdling" scream the night Corryn Rayney was allegedly murdered then buried in a bush grave at the public park, documents in Lloyd Rayney's wilful murder trial revealed yesterday.

The claim was contained in a string of witness statements that were made available, including another witness who told police she had seen two men with a spade or shovel coming from Kings Park bush as she drove past early one morning in mid-2007.

Mr Rayney is fighting an allegation he killed his wife at the estranged couple's Como home on August 7, 2007 and buried her in Kings Park bush in the early hours of the morning.

The witness statements came as the Supreme Court also learnt that a cigarette butt found on the verge outside the Rayneys' home after her alleged murder had DNA matching a "person well-known to police".

Lloyd Rayney’s defence team publicly revealed the twist yesterday as they questioned a former policeman who claimed to have seen Mrs Rayney socialising in Victoria Park the same night she was allegedly killed at home after returning from a Bentley bootscooting class about 9.45pm on August 7, 2007.

In a statement tendered to the Supreme Court, Darrel McLeod said he had been on duty as a senior constable that night when he noticed a short woman of Indian or Pakistani appearance with shoulder-length hair, a tasselled brown shirt, jeans and knee-high boots.

He said he believed the woman was Mrs Rayney and that she had been laughing with a man and woman, coming from a café or bar.

"That indicated to me that they all knew each other," Mr McLeod said, putting the time at either 9.25pm or between 10.40 and 11.30pm

Yesterday, he testified that earlier that night, between about 9.10 and 9.15pm, he conducted a traffic stop on a driver with the surname Eades in the nearby suburb of Manning.

Asked about the relevance of the traffic stop, defence lawyer David Edwardson said a cigarette butt seized from the verge outside Mrs Rayney’s home about a fortnight after her death contained DNA matching a "person well-known to the police" with the same surname.

The wilful murder trial was told that on August 22, 2007 police scoured the verge and footpath outside the Rayneys’ home. Items found included a cigarette butt, beer cans, plastic, and a fence picket.

Prosecutors claim Mr Rayney, a barrister, killed his wife, a Supreme Court registrar, at the property and buried her at Kings Park after their marriage soured. It is the "fulcrum" of the State’s case that Mrs Rayney returned home after her dance class.

Mr Rayney denies any involvement in her death.

Statements tendered to court yesterday included one from a resident whose home overlooked Kings Park. The resident claimed she heard a "blood-curdling female scream" as she lay in bed about 10.30pm on August 7, 2007. She said her home was "quite a distance" from the gravesite.

Another witness, a retired artist, stated she had seen two men with a spade or shovel coming from Kings Park bush as she drove past early one morning in mid-2007. She remembered the event months later.

The trial resumes on Monday.