Katie Foreman trial: lesser pleas rejected 

A Supreme Court jury has been empanelled in Sydney to hear the case against three people accused of murdering Wollongong lawyer Katie Foreman.

Woonona man Bradley Max Rawlinson, 40, Bernard Justin Spicer, 31, from Whalan, and Michelle Sharon Proud, 28, from Eastern Creek, stand accused of murdering Ms Foreman by setting her Corrimal home on fire in the early hours of October 27, 2011.

The 31-year-old died when the deliberately lit blaze ripped through the Doncaster Street home.

Firefighters discovered her body near the entrance to her upstairs bedroom.

Rawlinson, Spicer and Proud were committed to stand trial in June last year over Ms Foreman's death.

In a Darlinghurst courtroom yesterday, the trio formally entered not guilty pleas to a charge of murder. However, Rawlinson and Spicer both pleaded guilty to lesser charges - Rawlinson to manslaughter and Spicer to break and enter and commit a serious indictable offence, namely lighting the fire.

Crown prosecutor Chris Maxwell, QC, rejected the lesser pleas.

Opening submissions from Mr Maxwell and defence barristers representing Rawlinson, Spicer and Proud are set to begin this morning.

The trial is expected to last approximately six weeks.

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