Katie Foreman trial: lesbian affair denied

The cousin of slain Wollongong solicitor Katie Foreman has denied suggestions Ms Foreman was romantically involved with the woman who has pleaded guilty to murdering her.

Alicia Gibb on Friday rejected suggestions from a defence lawyer that Ms Foreman had once been in a lesbian relationship with Wendy Anne Evans, who has already admitted her role in causing a fatal fire at Ms Foreman's Corrimal home in October 2011.

Three other people, Ms Foreman's estranged partner, Bradley Max Rawlinson, and 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 murder.

During cross-examination yesterday from Rawlinson's lawyer, Winston Terracini, SC, Mrs Gibb was asked if it was possible Ms Foreman could have been in a sexual relationship with Evans at some stage.

"Katie liked boys," Mrs Gibb replied.

The court heard Rawlinson made allegations to Mrs Gibb about Ms Foreman both before and after her death, including that she had cheated on him, was taking drugs and drinking heavily, was having inappropriate relationships with policemen, solicitors and her clients, and had been pregnant at the time of her death.

Mrs Gibb told the court she assured Rawlinson Ms Foreman had not cheated on him "when they were together", and dismissed the drinking and drug claims, saying her cousin had not been a heavy drinker and despised drugs.

"I told Brad that was ridiculous, Katie hated drugs and wouldn't touch them," Mrs Gibb said.

Of the claim Ms Foreman was pregnant when she died, Mrs Gibb said Rawlinson told her that on the day of Ms Foreman's funeral. "I asked him if she'd told anyone. He said no, only me," Mrs Gibb told the court.

Mr Terracini suggested she was mistaken in what she had heard, and Rawlinson had said Ms Foreman had been pregnant previously, not that she was pregnant at the time of her death.

"No, I distinctly remember him saying Katie was pregnant when she died," Mrs Gibb told the court.

Ms Foreman's friend and colleague Danny Lagopodis told jurors Ms Foreman had come to him in June or July, 2011, with concerns regarding a series of sexually charged emails between herself and Wollongong police prosecutor Sergeant Sean Thackeray while she was in her previous job. Mr Lagopodis said Ms Foreman told him her old boss had the emails and she was concerned how they might be "interpreted".

He said she told him Sgt Thackeray had made advances towards her, but she did not reciprocate them and denied they had ever been in a relationship.

No evidence from confessed murderer

A Berkeley woman who has already admitted to her role in killing Wollongong lawyer Katie Foreman will not be called to give evidence in the trial of her co-accused, a court has heard.

Wendy Anne Evans pleaded guilty last year to a charge of murder in relation to Ms Foreman’s October 2011 death.

Addressing the jury yesterday regarding Evans, presiding judge Justice Ian Harrison confirmed she would not be giving evidence in the trial against her co-accused Bradley Max Rawlinson, Bernard Justin Spicer and Michelle Sharon Proud.

‘‘Ms Evans is a person allegedly involved in the circumstances that give rise to these proceedings,’’ he said.

‘‘She will not be called as a witness in the proceedings, so in her absence, [lawyers] have to do the best they can to illicit from other witnesses what her role might have been.’’

Judge Harrison said it was  up to the jury to decide what role Evans played in Ms Foreman’s death and the importance of the evidence regarding that role when determining the guilt or innocence of Rawlinson, Spicer and Proud.

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