The victim: Wollongong solicitor Katie Foreman died in a deliberately lit fire at her Corrimal home in the early hours of October 27, 2011.
The accused: Her estranged boyfriend, Bradley Max Rawlinson, and western Sydney couple Bernard Justin Spicer and Michelle Sharon Proud are on trial after earlier pleading not guilty to murdering Ms Foreman.
A fourth person, Wendy Anne Evans, has already pleaded guilty to murder.
The prosecution case: Prosecutors allege Rawlinson and Evans were having an affair and wanted Ms Foreman ‘‘gone’’ so they could be together. It is alleged they paid Spicer and Proud for Spicer to help Evans set Ms Foreman’s house on fire.
The trial: A joint trial for Rawlinson, Spicer and Proud began in Wollongong on February 4. Five days in, the jury was discharged due to a conflict of interest. The trial moved to Sydney’s Darlinghurst Courthouse, in front of a new jury, on February 18. The trial is before Justice Ian Harrison.
The charges: At the start of the trial, Rawlinson, Spicer and Proud entered not guilty pleas to the charge of murder. However, Rawlinson and Spicer entered guilty pleas to lesser charges – Rawlinson to manslaughter and Spicer to break and enter and commit a serious indictable offence, namely lighting the fire. Both pleas were rejected by the Crown.
Day 1: A jury is empaneled. Rawlinson, Spicer and Proud formally enter not guilty pleas to a charge of murder. Rawlinson and Spicer plead guilty to lesser charges which are rejected by prosecutors. The trial is expected to last six weeks. Click here for full story.
Day 2: Prosecutors allege Rawlinson and Evans were having a secret affair and agreed to pay to have Ms Foreman killed. In opening statements it is alleged Evans enlisted Spicer and Proud to help with the murder plan. Ann amateur video of the fire at Ms Foreman’s house is shown to the jury. A post-mortem examination concluded Ms Foreman had been alive and breathing for part of the fire. Click here for full story.
Day 3: A Salvation Army officer testifies Rawlinson told him he met with Evans, Spicer and Proud and organised to have Ms Foreman ‘‘scared’’ but had no idea she was going to die. A former workmate of Evans tells the court Evans and Foreman had been close but the relationship soured when Evans found out Foreman was having an affair with her ex-boyfriend Scott Field. Ms Foreman’s mother tells the court Rawlinson told her he had bought a $30,000 engagement ring for Ms Foreman before her death. A friend of Rawlinson tells the jury Rawlinson was ‘‘infatuated’’ with Ms Foreman. Click here for full story.
Day 4: Ms Foreman’s cousin denies suggestions from a defence lawyer that Evans and Ms Foreman were in a lesbian relationship. She said Rawlinson told her Ms Foreman was pregnant when she died. Ms Foreman’s friend and colleague tells jurors Ms Foreman was concerned about a series of sexually explicit emails between herself and a Wollongong police prosecutor. It is revealed Evans will not be called to give evidence. Click here for full story.
Day 5: A prostitute claims Rawlinson tried to pay her more than $2000 to ''bash'' Ms Foreman in the months before her death. She tells the court she can't go into further details about the proposition as they were never discussed. A colleague of Evans tells the court Evans was devastated after discovering Ms Foreman had allegedly slept with Evans's ex-boyfriend as well as her eldest son. Click here for full story.
Day 6: A Wollongong lawyer denies sleeping with Ms Foreman despite sending her sexually suggestive text messages. Evans' flatmate tells the court he believed Evans and Rawlinson were in a relationship. Click here for full story.
Day 7: Two Illawarra police officers tell the court they had intimate encounters with Ms Foreman in the 12 months before her death. Detective Sergeant Craig Fleuren testifies that he slept with Ms Foreman twice at her Corrimal home after they met while on opposing sides of a court case. Another policeman, Senior Constable Thackray, tells the court he exchanged sexually explicit emails and text messages with Ms Foreman between February and August 2011 after he agreed to alter police documents in court for one of her clients. He says the pair engaged in heavy petting at Port Kembla courthouse and at Wollongong Police Station but denies having sex with her. Click here for full story.
Day 8: Evans’s ex-boyfriend Scott Field tells the court Evans and Ms Foreman were in a lesbian relationship and had engaged in sexual activity together, which he had witnessed firsthand in February 2011. He adds that he and Ms Foreman also had a sexual relationship, beginning in February 2011, and that Evans was angry when she learnt about it. The jury also hears from a forensic pathologist who says Ms Foreman wasn’t pregnant when she died. Click here for full story.
Day 9: The jury hears an audio recording in which one of the accused, Michelle Proud, said Ms Foreman was supposed to end up in hospital, not dead. In the recording Proud said Evans had been having problems with Ms Foreman and wanted to pay someone to ‘‘do something about it’’. Click here for full story.
Day 10: Ms Foreman’s father tells the court he took an instant dislike to Evans and asked his daughter to stay away from her. Neil Foreman says Ms Foreman told him prior to her death she believed someone was tampering with the fuel in her car, and that on at least one occasion she had a prowler at her house. Click here for full story.
Day 11: Jurors hear claims that Katie Foreman sexually assaulted Wendy Evans and threatened to kill members of her family before she died. In a taped phone call, co-accused Michelle Proud is heard to say: ‘‘She [Ms Foreman] raped Wendy with a stick when she was knocked out ...’’ The court also hears evidence from a police crime scene analyst who says there were indications of an accelerant at the fire scene. Click here for full story.
Day 12: Police crime scene officer Detective Senior Constable Suzanne Sutherland tells the court that a sock and the remnants of a top removed from Katie Foreman’s burned body the night she died both contained traces of the accelerant used to start the fire that killed her. She says the discovery, along with the nature of the burns to the body, had led her to conclude Ms Foreman had been inside the bedroom of her home when the fire was lit. Click here for full story.