The lawyer for Lloyd Rayney, prominent Perth lawyer fighting a practice ban, has criticised the treatment of his client by police and the Legal Practice Board, saying Rayney has been under ‘unimaginable pressures’.
Lawyer Martin Bennett said Rayney had been cooperative during the early stages of the investigation, but said police became influenced by the media.
“Mr Rayney who'd spent his working life defending police, or prosecuting on their behalf, to suddenly realise the history in WA of people being fitted up, the Mickelbergs, Mallard and Button,” said Bennett.
“He was legitimately entitled to be concerned.”
Rayney, who is due to testify today, is fighting the cancellation of his practising certificate after the Legal Practice Board found that he had intentionally disposed of two Dictaphones relevant to an investigation into the murder of his wife back in 2007, after he was named as the prime suspect in her murder by police.
It was alleged that Rayney had shown ‘a lack of candour’ about his behaviour during the investigation, according to an ABC report yesterday.
Rayney, who denied he had acted illegally, was trialled for murder back in 2012 and found not guilty.
But Bennett, claimed that he had conducted himself with decorum and dignity during what he described as ‘enormous failings’ by police during the investigation.
The Board’s case for cancelling Rayney’s practicing certificate relies on statements by Timothy Pearson, who gave evidence during the murder trial but was unable to be located for the hearing, which Bennett described as ‘unfair’ and ‘prejudicial’.
Pearson had helped Rayney install an electronic device in his home that police alleged he used to record his wife’s phone calls. But a judge found the evidence did not prove the charges during his trial on two charges of unlawfully intercepting telephone calls earlier this year.