Katie Foreman’s estranged boyfriend and alleged killer told a Salvation Army officer just hours after his arrest that he’d organised to have the Wollongong lawyer ‘‘scared’’ but had no idea she was going to die, a court has heard.
Bradley Max Rawlinson also said he was prepared to ‘‘go down’’ for her killing if it meant keeping his family safe from his co-accused, Wendy Anne Evans, Salvation Army officer Raymond Lotty told a jury yesterday.
Mr Lotty said Rawlinson told him: ‘‘If Wendy thinks I’ve dobbed on her I’m dead. She’s already threatened to hurt [my family].’’
Ms Foreman died when a deliberately lit fire ripped through her Corrimal Street home in the early hours of October 27, 2011.
Rawlinson, along with western Sydney couple Bernard Justin Spicer and Michelle Sharon Proud, are on trial in the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney after pleading not guilty to murdering Ms Foreman. Evans, who was also charged with murder, pleaded guilty last year.
Mr Lotty told jurors he met Rawlinson in mid-2010 when he provided some counselling services to him relating to issues of low self-esteem.
Mr Lotty said he took it upon himself to visit Rawlinson at Wollongong police station on the afternoon of December 21, 2011, following his arrest in connection to Ms Foreman’s death.
He said during their conversation, Rawlinson confessed to meeting with Evans, Spicer and Proud prior to Ms Foreman’s death to organise for her to be ‘‘scared’’.
‘‘I said I just wanted her scared, but I didn’t know they were going to do anything that night and I didn’t know they were going to do that,’’ Mr Lotty said Rawlinson told him.
‘‘I asked him why he would want her scared; he said ‘I don’t know’.’’
Mr Lotty said Rawlinson also expressed concern that Evans might think he had turned on her.
‘‘He said Wendy had a lot of connections and knew people on both sides of the law,’’ Mr Lotty said.
‘‘He said ‘if Wendy thinks I’ve dobbed on her, I’m dead. She’s already threatened to hurt [my family]’.’’
Mr Lotty said Rawlinson also admitted he and Evans had been intimate on one occasion, describing it as ‘‘a stupid thing to do’’.
The court heard during another conversation between Rawlinson and Mr Lotty on February 5, 2012, Rawlinson said Evans ‘‘knows prisoners in all the jails and workers as well’’.
‘‘He said ‘if I tell the whole truth Wendy will get me, mum, dad...so for their sake, I’m prepared to go down’,’’ Mr Lotty said.
Under cross-examination from Rawlinson’s lawyer, Winston Terracini, SC, Mr Lotty conceded he had not made any notes after having the two conversations and had constructed his statement to police based on his best recollection of what had been said at the time.
He accepted suggestions from Mr Terracini that there was ‘‘room for error’’ in his recollections but also said he believed he had a good memory.
Meantime, jurors also heard evidence from one of Evans’s former workmates that Evans and Ms Foreman had once been close friends but the relationship soured when she found out the lawyer had been sleeping with her ex-boyfriend, Scott Field.
‘‘She said ‘I’ve just found out Katie is f---ing Scott behind my back’,’’ Suzanne Van Kooten told the court, adding Evans appeared distraught and very angry.
She said Evans also told her she’d found out Ms Foreman had been ‘‘sleeping with police prosecutors, police officers and other solicitors’’, and wanted revenge.
‘‘I’m going to tell somebody and cause Katie to get what is coming to her...she’ll get what she deserves for what she’s done to me,’’ Evans allegedly told Ms Van Kooten.
When asked if she thought Evans had meant she wanted to complain to authorities about Ms Foreman’s allegedly inappropriate relations with police and solicitors, Ms Van Kooten replied: ‘‘Yes, to the Police Integrity Commission or something like that.’’
Ms Foreman’s mother, Ann Foreman, also appeared in the witness box yesterday, telling jurors Rawlinson had told her after her daughter’s death that he’d bought Katie a $30,000 engagement ring, and the pair had been set to announce their plans to wed in the December after her death.
Rawlinson allegedly told Mrs Foreman he planned on burying the ring in a memorial rose garden she’d planted in her backyard.
Mrs Foreman said she never saw the ring, nor did she believe Rawlinson buried it in the garden.
Meantime, Rawlinson’s friend, Michael Ward, told the jury Rawlinson appeared to be ‘‘infatuated’’ with Ms Foreman and fell into deep depression whenever they weren’t together, even threatening to commit suicide during one split. The trial continues.