A doctor has told Lloyd Rayney’s multimillion-dollar defamation trial he diagnosed the barrister with post-traumatic stress disorder after his wife was murdered and he was named as the only suspect.
Mr Rayney is suing the WA government for being named by Detective Senior Sergeant Jack Lee in September 2007 as the prime and only suspect in the murder of Supreme Court registrar Corryn Rayney one month earlier.
Family doctor Brett Bowden testified in the WA Supreme Court on Monday that he saw Mr Rayney in October 2007 and diagnosed him with PTSD and severe adjustment disorder.
He said it was the first time he had spoken to Mr Rayney about the emotional impact of his wife’s death and the police investigation.
The doctor noted Mr Rayney had problems performing simple tasks, had lost his appetite and suffered from insomnia.
When he saw Mr Rayney in November 2014, he noted a psychologist Mr Rayney had been seeing for several months was not helping.
Dr Bowden diagnosed Mr Rayney with ongoing depression as a result of previous traumas and gave him some medication, but that was stopped months later.
“Mr Rayney has suffered severe prolonged emotional disturbances as a direct consequence of the murder of his wife and subsequent police investigation and media reporting,” Dr Bowden said in his statement, which was his evidence in chief.
“His symptoms are ongoing and, although less intense, are still severe.
“Were this a case of grief from his wife’s death, I would have expected a more rapid and complete recovery.
“I have no doubt the prolongation of his symptoms relate to the police investigations and associated media coverage.”
Dr Bowden was also asked about Mr Rayney’s back pain and said he was aware he had problems.
In a statement, Mr Rayney’s daughter Sarah said her father was frequently in pain.
“Mum and Dad were careful to make sure that Dad didn’t hurt his back by lifting heavy things,” she said.
Sarah said her father had treatment for his back, ranging from massages to cortisone injections, and she and her sister also used an octopus massager on him.
She said Mr Rayney aggravated his back injury in 2007 using the rowing function on an exercise machine.
Mr Rayney’s elder daughter Caitlyn made similar comments in her statement, noting she had not seen him play sport or exercise, and he never lifted, dragged or moved heavy things.
Ms Rayney’s body was found buried head-first at Kings Park in August 2007, about 10 days after she was last seen at a bootscooting class.
Her husband was acquitted of murdering the mother of two in 2012 and an appeal against the acquittal was dismissed in 2013.