A police officer yesterday accused Lloyd Rayney of lying to police on day one of the investigation into his wife’s disappearance and acting “overly emotional” when he found out she was missing.
Det-Sgt Keith Williams considered Mr Rayney a suspect in his wife Corryn’s disappearance on the day of the first search of his Como home in August 2007.
And when he heard Mr Rayney had been publicly named the prime and only suspect in his wife’s murder a month later, Det-Sgt Williams was “quite pleased” with the comments.
Giving evidence at Mr Rayney’s multimillion-dollar defamation case against the State, Det-Sgt Williams said he thought the barrister lied about his relationship on the day Mrs Rayney went missing.
He said Mr Rayney told police he and his wife, who were on the verge of separating, were optimistic about reaching a fair and reasonable resolution. Det-Sgt Williams told the Supreme Court emails and witness statements showed the bitterness between the couple was boiling over be-fore Mrs Rayney’s murder.
“I think it was dishonest and misleading not to declare that to us,” he said.
The court was told Mr Rayney was with another police officer in the Supreme Court when he got a phone call to say his wife was missing.
Det-Sgt Williams des- cribed his reaction as overly emotional and suspicious given their acrimonious relationship and his comments about Mrs Rayney potentially running away.
“There were accounts of Mr Rayney having an overreaction to something that at that point could have been something a lot simpler than her murder and death,” he said.
Under cross examination, Mr Rayney’s lawyer Martin Bennett accused Det-Sgt Williams of putting a gloss on his evidence to make it adverse to Mr Rayney.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Woods spoke about her friendship with Mrs Rayney when she gave evidence, saying she was a “sounding board” for the mother-of-two.
Ms Woods said Mrs Rayney made no secret of her unhappiness with her husband and had complained that he would not move out of their home.
She said Mrs Rayney told her she was going to have a “big discussion” with her husband about their relationship on the day she disappeared.
“I was under the impression that they were going to talk about it when they got home,” she said. “I doubt it was going to be amicable, they were splitting up.”
The trial continues.