A high-profile Perth barrister and friend of Lloyd Rayney described yesterday how the accused murderer said he did not mind if his wife was having an affair.
Linda Black told the Supreme Court her friend's biggest concern during his marital breakdown appeared to be how it would affect the couple's two daughters, who were aged 10 and 13 when their mother died on August 7, 2007.
Mr Rayney is fighting a charge of wilful murder, with the prosecution claiming he killed his wife at the Como family home as one daughter slept. The prosecution claims he was partly motivated by Mrs Rayney's threats to subpoena his legal clients to reveal his income as the pair headed for divorce.
Yesterday, Ms Black - who befriended Mr Rayney while they worked as prosecutors and later joined him as a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers - said Mr Rayney seemed in a bright mood the afternoon before the murder and mentioned he planned to sit down with his wife after her bootscooting class to find an amicable solution.
"He was the happiest I had seen him in months," Ms Black said.
She said the next day he had seemed sad and disappointed - his wife had not come home by 11.30pm and she had then left for work the next morning without saying goodbye to the children.
She said she called Mr Rayney later that day and he told her police were at his home, his wife was missing and she should tell police everything she knew. Ms Black said she once asked her friend whether his wife might be having an affair.
Mr Rayney had not suspected his wife was unfaithful but mentioned "a dad at the school", she said.
"What he told me made me think 'oh come off it . . . of course she is having an affair'," Ms Black said.
She said Mr Rayney told her he did not mind if his wife was having an affair - his only concern was he did not want the man around the children. The court has heard Mrs Rayney's car was used to take her body to her Kings Park grave and then dumped in Kershaw Street, Subiaco.
Ms Black, who lived in the street until May 2007, said Mr Rayney picked her up for regular bridge classes in more than one type of car.
The State alleges Mr Rayney lured his wife home by pretending he was willing to disclose his finances, and hoped to make it seem she had "done a runner".