Monday, August 25, 2014


Australia: Lloyd Rayney breaks silence, calls for cold-case review of wife Corryn’s murder

Lazy cops again -- grabbing anybody who happens to be nearby

ALMOST two years after he was cleared of murdering his wife, Lloyd Rayney has broken his silence in a documentary, saying he believes WA Police "owed" it to Corryn and his daughters to "get it right".

The former barrister, who until tonight had remained silent about his exoneration — and the years of intense speculation about his involvement — called for independent investigators to re-examine the unsolved case.

In the 90-minute television documentary which was broadcast tonight, he said his daughters Caitlyn and Sarah never doubted his innocence and that despite the intense scrutiny they have faced over the past seven years, their family remained "strong".

The father-of-two also spoke of his complete disbelief when WA Police named him as a prime suspect and welled up with tears when he recalled the moment he told his daughters their mother Corryn had gone missing.

"Three of us were standing in the hallway and I told them what had happened and I still remember Sarah looking up to me and saying to me: ‘What’s going to happen, Dad?’ And I had no answer because I didn’t know," he said.

"The three of us just hugged each other for a long, long time. Yeah, that was the start of this nightmare that’s gone on for seven years and still hasn’t finished."

During the program Mr Rayney spoke of the first time he met his wife, the birth of their children and the eventual collapse of their marriage.

Several times he struggled to hold back tears as he recalled the effect the intense media spotlight had on his family, in particular his two girls, and how the ordeal affted his professional and personal lives.

Mrs Rayney, a well-liked and respected Supreme Court registrar, disappeared after attending a boot scooting class on August 7, 2007. Her body was found buried in a shallow grave at Kings Park nine days later.

In the weeks following the discovery, police identified Mr Rayney as a suspect but it took more than three years before they charged him with murder.

During Mr Rayney’s murder trial it was revealed the couple’s marriage had broken down, they were sleeping in separate rooms and on the night she disappeared the pair were meant to discuss their divorce.

Mr Rayney was acquitted in November 2012 following a three-month judge-only trial conducted by retired Northern Territory chief justice Brian Martin. And a subsequent appeal by the state against the verdict was also dismissed in September last year.

But his legal battles are still not over. He is still facing two charges in the WA District Court in relation to allegedly installing a telephone tap at the family’s Como home.

And the former state prosecutor is still pursuing a defamation case against WA Police over comments made by Det-Sen Sgt Jack Lee who named him as the prime suspect. If successful, Mr Rayney could potentially receive millions in damages.

"I was just gobsmacked," he said of the comments. "(I) could not believe it. I still can’t believe it.

"The impact of what he said was felt by me immediately in every different way imaginable, professionally, personally, every aspect of my family’s life. Seven years on, the impact is still there."

Former British detective and forensic expert Robin Napper, who worked with Mr Rayney’s defence team, also told the documentary that two violent criminals who lived near the Rayneys at the time of the murder should have been investigated as thoroughly as Mr Rayney.

He said Ivin Eades had convictions for assault and indecent assault but was not interviewed for four months and Allon Mitchell Lacco had convictions for sex attacks on a girl aged 11 and a woman, 29.

Eades had been pulled over by police in the vicinity of the Rayney home on the night Mrs Rayney disappeared.

During the murder trial it was revealed a cigarette butt found on the verge outside the Rayneys’ Como home contained DNA from Eades.

Mr Napper told the program Mr Lacco was arrested by police on the night Mrs Rayney’s body was found for minor traffic offences and had injuries on his hands and eye. Sand was also found in his car.

He said the Rayney team were told of the arrest but his car and clothes were not examined.

During the trial, Mr Rayney’s lawyers cross examined the police on the matter but decided not to pursue the theory further.

While Justice Martin criticised some of the police involved in the investigation he said there was no evidence that lines of inquiry were not investigated.

Despite the amount of time that has passed, Mr Rayney said he still believes his wife’s murder can be solved, just not by the same investigators. "I really do think it can be solved," Mr Rayney says in the documentary. "The name doesn’t matter, call it a cold case, call it whatever you want but there needs to be an investigation conducted.

"Not by the same investigators who stuffed this up. It needs to be new blood, new people with sufficient experience to get it right.

"The police had a chance to solve this crime and that was for everyone’s benefit and for the benefit of Corryn. They owed it to her to get it right. They owed it to my children.

"They owed it to everybody that knew and loved Corryn and they didn’t do it, and I find that really hard to forgive, all of the things that they should have done and didn’t do."

Earlier today Premier Colin Barnett said he didn’t agree with calls for an external review to be carried out. Though he added that it would depend on whether Attorney General Michael Mischin backed the move.

A WA Police spokeswoman also would not comment on calls for an external review saying WA Police could not comment on any matters relating to this case "due to current legal proceedings, both criminal and civil".

Original report here




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