Michelle 'callous but no killer'

• Murder trial at a glance

Michelle Sharon Proud - callous, yes, but a murderer?

No way, according to her lawyer, David Pullinger, who has told jurors in closing submissions in the Katie Foreman murder trial that Proud may have been many things, but she was not a killer.

Proud is accused of helping three others plan the October 2011 house fire that claimed Ms Foreman's life.

Prosecutors claim Ms Foreman's estranged boyfriend, Bradley Max Rawlinson, and his alleged secret lover Wendy Anne Evans, hired Proud and her partner Bernard Justin Spicer to help plan and carry out Ms Foreman's killing.

Prosecutors allege the four were part of a criminal agreement to seriously harm or kill Ms Foreman.

However, Mr Pullinger on Thursday said Proud was innocent of the charges levelled against her.

He conceded evidence presented during the course of the trial, including secretly recorded telephone conversations between her, Evans and Spicer, showed that she had tried to divert police attention away from the trio by creating a false story, but said she had done it out of a "misguided" sense of loyalty to Spicer and Evans.

He rejected earlier arguments from Crown prosecutor Chris Maxwell, QC, that Proud had known far more about plans to kill Ms Foreman than she was admitting to, and that she had been actively involved in giving directions to Spicer about how he was to hurt Ms Foreman.

"Yes, she behaved very badly; callously in relation to this event after it happened," he said.

"But there's no evidence she was a party to it, a player in a team that was going down [to Wollongong] to do something to Katie Foreman."

Meantime, Mr Maxwell earlier described evidence given by Proud in the witness box last week as "far fetched" and urged jurors to reject it.

He said jurors should not believe her suggestion that comments she made to a friend during a recorded conversation - "all BJ was supposed to do, like I said to BJ, you go in there and mess her up a bit ..." - was simply her using words Evans had previously said to her, and she had not been giving him directions.

Mr Maxwell asked jurors to consider the nature of the relationship between Proud and Evans, noting when Proud had troubles in the past with her relationship with Spicer, she had turned to Evans for support.

He said jurors may well believe Proud had wanted to return the favour when Evans told her she was having trouble with Ms Foreman.

The trial continues.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop