Bradley Max Rawlinson spun a web of lies about his apparent love-filled relationship with Katie Foreman to try and distance himself from his own involvement in her murder, a court has heard.
In closing submissions in Ms Foreman's Supreme Court murder trial, Crown prosecutor Chris Maxwell, QC, said if jurors carefully examined all the evidence before them, they would conclude that Rawlinson had told multiple lies in order to paint himself as Ms Foreman's caring, dedicated partner, when he had actually been plotting her demise.
He pointed to evidence by several of Ms Foreman's friends and family, who told jurors Rawlinson told them at various stages, both before and after Ms Foreman's death, that he had bought her an expensive engagement ring; they planned to build a house at Corrimal (and that plans had been with Wollongong City Council for two years); and that Ms Foreman had been pregnant when she died.
However, Mr Maxwell said the jury should find beyond doubt that each of those statements had been a lie. He said Rawlinson's bank records, where one might expect to see a payment for an expensive item like an engagement ring, were devoid of any such transactions.
Mr Maxwell said checks with the council found no development applications had been lodged by either Rawlinson or Ms Foreman, while the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Ms Foreman's body said she was not pregnant at the time of her death.
Mr Maxwell asked jurors to also consider evidence from Ms Foreman's parents, Ann and Neil, who both said they had noticed their daughter growing more distant from Rawlinson in the weeks before her death.
He said their observations, coupled with the combative nature of text messages sent from Ms Foreman to Rawlinson around the same time, would have to lead the jury to conclude there were never any marriage plans for the pair.
Mr Maxwell said further evidence that their relationship was not as solid as Rawlinson would have people believe came from one of his friends, Matthew Ward, whose car Rawlinson borrowed in order to spy on Ms Foreman.
In the weeks after her death, Rawlinson also tried to distance himself from any involvement in Ms Foreman's death by actively trying to steer police down bogus lines of inquiry, Mr Maxwell said.
He pointed to Rawlinson's suggestions that Ms Foreman may have committed suicide; that one of her clients could have been responsible for starting the fire; or that the blaze could have been the result of a candle catching alight in her room, as ways Rawlinson tried to deflect attention from the real cause of the fire, and his own involvement in its planning.
Mr Maxwell then moved on to Rawlinson's knowledge of what was to occur to Ms Foreman that night, saying jurors should reject Rawlinson's comments to police that he just wanted Ms Foreman scared that night.
He said evidence pointed to Rawlinson knowing it would be more than that.
He argued Rawlinson's text message exchange with co-accused Wendy Anne Evans just before Ms Foreman's death, in which Evans asked if Ms Foreman was home and Rawlinson replied, "yes, get in, do it and get out", was clearly a reference to having the Wollongong lawyer killed.
"When you consider that one text [message] in conjunction with other evidence it establishes his involvement in ... being part of an agreement to end Katie Foreman's life," Mr Maxwell concluded.
He said accepting that evidence lead to convicting Mr Rawlinson for the crime of murder."
Mr Maxwell will make his closing arguments in the case against Rawlinson's co-accused, Michelle Sharon Proud, on Thursday, before lawyers for both accused give final addresses.