The recent developments in the Corryn Rayney murder investigation have shocked and saddened me.
Firstly, to hear the police come out and name her husband, and claim that they have evidence that she was murdered in the family home was a little unnerving. Did anyone watch the second (and was it the last? I haven’t heard about it since) episode of Shark? With the story line of the surgeon husband suspected of killing his doctor wife while the kid was at home? The episode aired the week after Corryn went missing. I sat there watching it going, ‘oh jeez, I hope the same thing doesn’t happen here.’ Her body was found a few days later.
I know, I’m totally lame for relating everything to televisions shows. But it was just creepily co-inki-dinky. Like Annabel Catt/Dixon.
But after Mr Rayney was declared the “prime suspect” on Thursday, and after days of forensic investigation and luminol spraying, he still hasn’t been charged. At least not with her murder.
They were estranged. The phone tap thing is weird. And he’s the main “person of interest”. For all we know, he did it.
But the way the police have handled the publicity issues here just astounds me. Don’t they watch City Homicide?? Noni Hazelhurst wisely tells the Thank-God-You’re-Here guy to make sure his kids keep everything out of the press every single week!
Sure, in the this age of information-gluttony, the public wants to know everything. But it’s also in the public interest to ensure our legal system retains its integrity.
We have a criminal justice system to try and prosecute offenders. Even when they’re charged, suspects are innocent until proven guilty, etc etc etc. But we’ve been given snippets of this and bits of that which amounts to a great circumstantial case, without any real hard facts or evidence.
Media releases should never, ever, replace counsel presenting a case to a judge and jury. Unless we get the call-up to sit in the box with 11 fellow Perthites, we cannot decide if Mr Rayney did it or not… but with everything that’s been aired out in the past few days, will they ever find 12 people who haven’t already made up their minds?
You can say as much as you like that the WA Law Society & Bar Association etc are just speaking out on this issue to defend one of their own, I guess like
Deputy Commissioner Dawson is standing by Snr Sgt Lee, but they are the ones who know how the system ought to work.
Tom Percy QC was absolutely right when he came out and said:
“The concept of a prime suspect, there is no concept of it in law. I think it was definitely a mistake. They’ve got to either charge him or just be quiet about it.”
If Mr Rayney did it, he did it, and if the police do everything right he’ll get done for it according to the law. But the way things are unfolding, he’s getting done by the media, and the problem is that there is no right of appeal from that verdict. It’s life, it’s been done, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.