The West

Corryn Rayney knew her killer, court told
Corryn Rayney knew her killer, court told

Lloyd Rayney would likely have got away with murdering his wife “but for the intervention of fate” that led to her body being discovered, his wilful murder trial was told today.

Prosecutor John Agius said that nobody but Mr Rayney had the motive to attack Corryn outside their Como home and risk "a commotion", nor to conceal her body in a Kings Park grave.

Delivering his closing submission in the 12-week trial, Mr Agius painted a picture of Mr Rayney as a man accustomed to taking calculated risks who decided to kill his wife to remove “an impediment” to his life.

Mr Agius said Mrs Rayney's body may never have been discovered if her car had not struck a bollard near Kings Park after she was buried, creating a trail of fluid that led police to her clandestine grave.

“But for the intervention of fate he would have gotten away with it,” Mr Agius said. “But for striking the bollard (at Kings Park) this would have been very successful. He didn’t count on the bollard.

“By the time he has buried her he is tired, his adrenalin is running very, very high... he has all but achieved his aim.

“He made one miscalculation and that miscalculation involves driving the car in reverse over the bollard and from that point onwards his behaviour deteriorates.

“To this man, who loves to control everything around him… that loss of control was his undoing.”

Mr Agius said the case against Mr Rayney hinged on a handful of points: that the Rayneys’ marriage had broken down, that they had agreed to meet to discuss financial matters on the night Mrs Rayney was killed and that she returned home from bootscooting class that night.

Mr Agius said a lack of defensive wounds on Mrs Rayney’s body indicated that she “knew her attacker or perhaps that she was attacked by surprise”.

Mr Rayney’s behaviour in the wake of his wife’s disappearance also forms part of the prosecution’s case. In particular Mr Agius said two lies told by Mr Rayney prove his “consciousness of guilt”.

Firstly, the prosecution claim Mr Rayney told police his alarm system was not working to prevent them from accessing records that would have shown he activated the alarm on the night he killed his wife.

Secondly, Mr Rayney allegedly lied about having driven Mrs Rayney’s car to a work function shortly before her death to explain the presence of a dinner place card from that night in Kings Park.

Mr Agius said the place card, which bore Mr Rayney's name, was “a powerful piece of evidence”.

Mr Agius said Mr Rayney's "extreme emotional response" at Mrs Rayney's place of work on August 8, 2007 - a day after Mrs Rayney was killed - was inconsistent with his behaviour later in the day.

"He takes the stairs two at a time and he's crying and when he speaks to the chief justice one of the things he asks him is how much... he knows about the marital situation between himself and his wife," Mr Agius said.

"That behaviour, the extreme emotional response, is difficult to reconcile with his behaviour later that day."

Mr Agius has been given today to deliver the prosecution’s closing submission.

Mr Rayney’s lawyer David Edwardson will deliver the defence’s closing argument tomorrow.

Both sides will also make extensive written submissions.

Justice Brian Martin will then decide Mr Rayney’s fate.

He has not given any indication as to how long that decision will take.

Mr Agius said he expected Mr Edwardson would tomorrow address the subject of the three liquidambar seed pods allegedly recovered from Mrs Rayney’s body.

But he said it was the prosecution’s case there was “no room” to suggest any of the pods were planted by police.

The pods are significant to the prosecution’s case because soil, brick and paint samples recovered from the pods closely resemble samples from the Rayneys’ home.

The West Australian

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