The father of a Wollongong solicitor killed in a house fire at Corrimal believed his daughter had ended her on-off intimate relationship with one of her alleged killers in the weeks leading up to her death.
Neil Foreman took to the witness box yesterday during day two of a NSW Supreme Court trial for three people accused of murdering his daughter Katie in 2011.
Ms Foreman's badly burnt body was discovered just outside her bedroom door after a deliberately lit fire ripped through her Doncaster Street home in the early hours of October 27.
Prosecutors allege Ms Foreman's boyfriend, Bradley Max Rawlinson, and western Sydney couple Bernard Justin Spicer and Michelle Sharon Proud, helped a fourth woman, Wendy Evans, orchestrate and carry out the killing.
Mr Foreman, a former police officer who told jurors he shared a close relationship with Katie, yesterday said he believed his daughter had broken things off with Rawlinson in the weeks leading up to her death.
"Did you form an opinion about the [status of the] relationship between your daughter and Mr Rawlinson?" Crown prosecutor Chris Maxwell, QC, asked.
"I believed the relationship was in the process of finishing or had in fact finished," Mr Foreman replied, adding his daughter "certainly wasn't happy" about the relationship.
Ms Foreman's mother Ann also gave evidence, saying she had suspicions about her daughter's happiness.
"Between September and October, Katie was very cool towards Brad," she said, adding when she questioned her daughter about it, Ms Foreman said "he's still around".
"Her body language - she wasn't as connected as she had been previously," Mrs Foreman said.
However, both parents' observations contrasted with the story Rawlinson told Mrs Foreman after Katie's death, saying the couple had planned to spend the rest of their lives together.
Mrs Foreman said Rawlinson had told her after Katie's death that he had bought her a $30,000 engagement ring, and that the two had planned to announce their marriage intentions that December.
She also said he told her he and Katie were going to build a $1 million house at Corrimal, on land given to him by his uncle, and that the plans had been with the council for two years.
Meantime, both Ms Foreman's parents told the court Rawlinson had expressed concern to them about Katie's friendship with Evans, who he said was a bad influence.
"He called her a 'scrag'," Mrs Foreman said.
"He said she was a nasty person and she encouraged Katie to drink a lot ... he was concerned she was leading Katie astray."
Mrs Foreman said Rawlinson also spoke about paying Evans to "go away" and said he "didn't like her".
However, prosecutors allege a series of text messages between Rawlinson and Evans in the lead-up to Ms Foreman's death showed Evans was having a secret affair with Rawlinson, and the pair wanted to "get rid" of Ms Foreman so they could be together.
The trial continues today.