The West

A single father who had a close relationship with Corryn Rayney became emotional yesterday as he described her as a best friend whose name he did not want to put "through the mill" by revealing intimate encounters they enjoyed while her husband Lloyd was away.

The man, whose name is suppressed, struggled to hold back tears as he explained at Mr Rayney's wilful murder trial why he initially told police nothing beyond the occasional "kiss and cuddle" happened between him and the mother of two. The Supreme Court was told it was about nine months after her death on August 7, 2007, that he revealed the pair "went a little bit further" three times while her husband was in Bermuda in 2003-04.

"I didn't want Corryn's name basically put down as if she was something she wasn't," he said.

"She has done nothing wrong."

The court was told the encounters had occurred at Mrs Rayney's home, in the home shed and at her office where she worked as a Supreme Court registrar.

The man said the pair had not gone as far as having sex.Asked by Justice Brian Martin why he later "came clean" about the encounters, the man replied he felt some "guilt" and police kept contacting him and suggesting something more happened between him and Mrs Rayney.

The man described Mrs Rayney as a "best friend" who came once in a lifetime. "I don't think I have ever met someone who was like Corryn," he said. "She was such a beautiful person inside and out."

Mrs Rayney disappeared after an dance class and was found buried in Kings Park. The court has been told Mrs Rayney sometimes socialised after the class but the State claims she came home that night.

Yesterday, the State argued the witness' evidence of his relationship with Mrs Rayney bore no relevance to the case. The defence team argued it showed Mrs Rayney was prepared to act differently than her public image suggested.

The witness, who met Mrs Rayney at the school their children attended, said their contact waned after he began a relationship with another woman about 2005.

He said Mrs Rayney had not liked her husband to see them together because she didn't like "the way he would react". Mr Rayney was never rude when he visited the home with other parents, he said.

The West Australian

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