July 16, 2012 9:04AM
A CARD bearing Lloyd Rayney’s name was found in Kings Park days before his wife’s body was found, a Supreme Court trial has heard this morning
Mr Rayney is charged with the murder of his Supreme Court registrar wife Corryn Rayney, who disappeared from her weekly boot-scooting class in Bentley on August 7, 2007. Her body was found in a bush grave in Kings Park just over a week later.
Mr Rayney was sensationally charged in December 2010 with murdering his wife, more than three years after her death. He has pleaded not guilty and persistently denied any involvement in her death.
Crown Prosecutor John Agius QC has yet to give an official opening address to the court today but has indicated that his address could take one and a half days.
In an exchange with Justice Brian Martin on the opening day of the murder trial Mr Agius said that a card bearing the accused’s name had been found by a family in Kings Park a few days before Corryn Rayney’s body was later found there.
Mr Agius did not elaborate on what sort of card was found.
Mr Rayney simply replied “yes” to confirm his name and formally replied “not guilty” when the charge of wilful murder was read to him.
The court was also told this morning that a “view” would take place at several sites on Wednesday.
Members of the defence team, prosecution, Mr Rayney and Justice Martin are expected to visit the Bentley Community
Hall and Kings Park as part of the view, the court was told.
“The best time to do it would be before the oral evidence starts,” Mr Agius told the court.
Justice Martin said: “It will be necessary for the media to act with some restraint.”
$100,000 bail renewed
Mr Rayney’s bail was renewed just before the court took an adjournment at 11.05am. Justice Martin granted Mr Rayney bail on a $100,000 personal undertaking and a $100,000 surety.
As part of his conditions Mr Rayney must not contact any witnesses, with the exception of his two daughters and his sister.
Mr Rayney’s bail will apply at every adjournment in the trial, Justice Martin said, and will continue until the conclusion of the Crown’s evidence.
Rayney supported by teenage daughters
Earlier, Mr Rayney arrived at the District Court building, flanked by his two teenage daughters, for the start of his trial, where he is accused of murdering his estranged wife.
Mr Rayney and daughters Caitlyn and Sarah arrived just minutes after his three-pronged defence team got to court around 9.20am.
The high-profile barrister declined to speak to a throng of media as he entered the court for his trial, which has attracted unprecedented media attention since he was charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Supreme Court registrar Corryn Rayney.
Mrs Rayney’s extended family, including her father and sister Sharon Coutinho, entered the court just minutes after Mr Rayney and his daughters.
Trial will hear 200 witnesses
Prosecutors are set to call almost 200 witnesses and tender 200 exhibits during Mr Rayney’s Supreme Court trial, which starts today.
A $2 million legal team headed by Sydney barrister John Agius QC has been flown in from New South Wales to prosecute Mr Rayney for the alleged wilful murder of his estranged wife Corryn in 2007.
Mr Agius has been described by Sydney colleagues as a top-shelf advocate. His crime-fighting work has even seen him portrayed as a character in the high-rating TV series Underbelly.
“He is one of the top-level criminal lawyers in Sydney,” fellow NSW barrister Peter Hastings QC said.
“Criminal law is what he does almost all of the time.”
Mr Agius, who was admitted to the NSW bar in 1977, has acted for or been an adviser to the NSW Crime Commission, the National Crime Authority, the NSW Police Integrity Commission, the royal commission into the Australian Wheat Board and the Cole royal commission into illegal practices in the building industry.
But it was his role as the counsel assisting the royal commission into corruption in the NSW police force (the Wood royal commission) which saw him depicted in Underbelly.
Last year, he was touted as a possible candidate to replace retired NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery.
Mr Hastings said he did not know Mr Agius had been a character in Underbelly, but “would not be suprised”.
“The royal commissions are a good indicator of his standing,” Mr Hastings said. “He was a counsel assisting during the Wood royal commission and was dealing with most of the main players from the Kings Cross area during that commission.”
Mr Agius declined to be interviewed, but a spokeswoman for the NSW DPP said 190 prosecution witnesses were set to be called at the trial and there were more than 200 exhibits.
Mr Rayney, a former senior state prosecutor, will be standing trial five years after his former Supreme Court registrar wife disappeared after a bootscooting class. Mrs Rayney’s body was found in a bush grave in Kings Park on August 16, 2007.
Almost $3 million of taxpayers’ money has been set aside to pay for the trial.
A judge and prosecution team from outside WA are being used because Mrs Rayney used to work at the Supreme Court and because of Mr Rayney’s former senior position with the local DPP.
In the 2012-13 State Budget, $2 million was earmarked for the NSW Department of Public Prosecutions to handle the case. A further $874,000 is being paid to bring in retired South Australian judge and former Northern Territory chief justice Brian Martin to preside over the trial, and for his support staff. Mr Martin is expected in Perth this weekend.
At the time the Budget was delivered, then attorney-general and treasurer Christian Porter said the costs were unavoidable.
“This is likely to be one of the highest-profile trials in Australian history and arises out of some unusual and unprecedented circumstances,” he said.
The trial was originally listed to run for five months, but is now widely expected to be finished in three. Though it is a Supreme Court trial, a bigger courtroom in the new District Court building will be used to accommodate what is expected to be a big media contingent and a packed public gallery.
The younger of Mr Rayney’s two teenage daughters is a student at Penrhos College. Principal Meg Melville declined to comment on the case, but said all students going through difficult times had the school’s support.
“The emotional wellbeing of all girls is of utmost importance at all times and we support them in any way we can,” she said. “Girls going through difficult times are given all possible consideration.”
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
33674 917557 57
his path of destiny = 57 = Condolences. Heartbreaking.
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