The fallout from Justice Brian Martin’s criticism of the police who investigated Corryn Rayney’s death has begun with lobby group Civil Liberties Australia calling for an independent investigation.
Delivering his not guilty verdict today Justice Martin said the evidence had shown instances of “unacceptable conduct by some investigators ranging from the inappropriate to reprehensible”.
CLA WA director Rex Wilderstrom said Justice Martin would not have used those terms without being “wholly aware of their meaning and the ramifications of his uttering them”.
“The West Australian public need to be confident that its police service acts fairly and lawfully,” he said.
“Clearly it is not doing so, as Mr Rayney’s case proves.
“This high-profile case is only example of many instances of which CLA is aware in which police conduct has fallen short of the standards the people expect.
“The Premier now has no option but to restore public confidence in the WA Police by convening a Royal Commission to investigate all aspects of police conduct and then to implement its recommendations.”
Alleged bias in the police investigation into Mrs Rayney’s disappearance at death was a key plank of Lloyd Rayney’s defence.
His legal team argued police conducted a biased and single-minded investigation targeting Mr Rayney as the killer.
Mr Rayney has a defamation case against the State relating to his being named as the “prime and only suspect” in his wife’s death. Those comments were made about three years before he was charged.
Despite Justice Martin’s criticism he also noted that there was “no evidence” that police did not properly investigate relevant lines of inquiry.