THE family liaison officer assigned to Lloyd Rayney and his daughters has admitted misleading the Perth barrister about a search warrant.
Mr Rayney is suing the state of WA for defamation after he was named in September 2007 as the prime and only suspect in the murder of Supreme Court registrar Corryn Rayney, who was found buried in Kings Park a month earlier.
Detective Sergeant Mark McKenzie testified in the WA Supreme Court on Monday that he visited the Rayney home on August 22, 2007 “under the guise of attending to victimology issues” as outlined in the operational order, and then advised a search warrant would be executed.
“The purpose of this strategy was to ensure Mr Rayney was not alerted to the warrant,” he said in his statement.
“Mr Rayney said words to the effect that we didn’t need a warrant – he would have given us permission.”
Det Sgt McKenzie said he believed Mr Rayney was annoyed about not being warned of the search warrant.
Under cross-examination, Det Sgt McKenzie said he felt bad about misleading Mr Rayney, but it was an operational order.
Rayney detective takes stand
Det Sgt McKenzie denied treating Mr Rayney with suspicion from August 23, 2007 and “interviewing him” rather than being a liaison.
The detective also said in his statement that Mr Rayney cried when he was informed his wife was dead on August 16, 2007.
He said Mr Rayney’s sister helped explain things to Mr Rayney because he was very upset.
Later that day, Det Sgt McKenzie saw Mr Rayney and his daughters at the home of Ms Rayney’s sister.
Det Sgt McKenzie said while the girls appeared upset, Mr Rayney “just sat without any overt emotion”.
The detective was grilled under cross-examination about that statement and said while Mr Rayney was “oblivious to everything going on in the room“, he did put his arm around his daughters.
Det Sgt McKenzie said Mr Rayney’s daughters did not give a further official statement to police despite a request to do so.
Mr Rayney was acquitted of murdering the mother of two in 2012 and an appeal was dismissed in 2013.