The West

Deadline looms for Rayney appeal
Lloyd Rayney

The deadline for prosecutors to lodge an appeal against the acquittal of Lloyd Rayney over the death of his estranged wife, Corryn, expires tomorrow.

Prosecutors have until 4pm to lodge an appeal but may also be able to apply for an extension.

Mr Rayney was acquitted this month after a highly publicised three-month trial and a five-year ordeal.

Corryn Rayney, a former registrar at the Supreme Court of Western Australia and mother of two, disappeared after her weekly dance class on August 7, 2007.

Former Northern Territory chief justice Brian Martin presided over the case, which was dubbed the “trial of the decade”.

He found that Mrs Rayney was a victim of an attack outside her home and was buried head-first in a grave at Kings Park before her car was dumped nearby.

Mr Rayney told reporters on the day he was found not guilty that it was a “terrible tragedy” his daughters still did not know who killed their mother.

Many in the legal profession have publicly said a retrial is unlikely because, for an appeal to be successful, lawyers must find a misapplication of legal principles.

Appeals must be lodged within 21 days after a verdict, meaning Thursday is the deadline.

Mr Rayney's was one of WA's most expensive trials and required its judge and prosecutor to be flown in from interstate to avoid bias because of the high-profile nature of the case.

Mr Rayney may also push ahead with a defamation lawsuit against WA Police after the then head of the major crime squad, Detective Senior Sergeant Jack Lee, told journalists shortly after Ms Rayney's death that her estranged husband was the “prime” and “only” suspect in her murder.

The Legal Practice Board and Barristers' Board are reviewing Mr Rayney's right to practise law in the wake of the judgement, which described him as "engaging in discreditable conduct".


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