Horror in Corrimal: case against murder accused

The Facebook updates began innocently enough. In July last year, Wendy Anne Evans posted that she was ''over the bullshit being spun''. She then wondered, ''who you can really trust in the world,'' before asking her friends, ''what do you consider boundaries in a friendship?''

But an increasingly bitter feud allegedly took a sinister turn when Ms Evans allegedly posted on her Facebook page: ''Note to self … take a deep breath, count to ten. Remember, murder is still against the law.''

Ms Evans, 39, is one of four people accused of murdering Wollongong lawyer Katie Foreman a year ago by allegedly burning her alive, in a crime that shocked the legal community in which the young solicitor was well known.

According to police, the Facebook updates were just the beginning.

Fairfax can reveal for the first time details of the case against Ms Evans and three others - one of whom, Bradley Max Rawlinson, was Ms Foreman's on-again, off-again lover for four years.

Mr Rawlinson and Ms Evans became an item mid-last year, and police allege the pair plotted Ms Foreman's murder in terrifying circumstances.

In the early hours of October 27, last year police allege Ms Evans and another co-accused crept up to Ms Foreman's Corrimal home and used a key to slip inside, where they poured petrol around her bed as she slept. When the fire was lit, it engulfed the main bedroom, leaving Ms Foreman with no escape route.

In a detailed case statement obtained by Fairfax Media, police have outlined a case that reveals Mr Rawlinson and Ms Evans were consumed by revenge, jealousy, desire and desperation as they plotted to kill the 30-year-old lawyer.

The case statement alleges that they engaged the services of a western Sydney couple, Michelle Proud and Bernard Justin Spicer, who charged just $3000 for the job because they ''wanted to get another car''.

The money was paid in instalments through a TAB account of a middleman. At the time all four were arrested, $600 remained outstanding.

But according to homicide detectives, the seed was planted three months earlier.

Ms Evans and Ms Foreman had been, according to one witness, the best of friends.

Ms Foreman, who became a solicitor in 2006, had represented Ms Evans in divorce proceedings, and also represented another member of her family. They knew each other from court, too - a former employee of the Attorney-General's Department, Ms Evans worked for a time as a court officer at Wollongong Local Court.

But in July last year, Ms Evans allegedly became aware that Ms Foreman had slept with her former boyfriend.

Around the same time, Ms Evans became involved in a sexual relationship with Mr Rawlinson who, while not in an ''exclusive'' relationship with Ms Foreman, was still intimately involved with her.

By October 1, last year, the alleged murder plot was taking shape.

On that day, Mr Rawlinson allegedly sent Ms Evans a text saying: ''Yeah, so do I but I just keep thinking one more week. Then she is gone and we are away from her.''

In further messages recovered by police, Mr Rawlinson allegedly sent another message to Ms Evans two days later that said: ''I can't wait to see you tonight. This is hell. She is a cow. She's carrying on like an idiot. God I want her gone.''

Then, on October 13, another: ''I want to be with you til I die and I hope you understand the various reasons why it needs to happen to her now. I love you.''

About two weeks before the fire, a witness spoke with Ms Evans, who allegedly asked: ''Can you get someone bashed for me?'' The witness replied in the negative, with Ms Evans explaining: ''The chick used to be my best friend, she was rooting my ex-boyfriend while I was with him.''

But eventually, police allege, Ms Evans contacted Ms Proud, 28, asking if her de facto Mr Spicer could help with their aim.

Police have records allegedly showing money being withdrawn by Mr Rawlinson and deposited into a TAB account linked to Mr Spicer, now 31.

After collecting Ms Proud and Mr Spicer from their Whalan home on October 26, Ms Evans dropped them at the Oasis Resort and Motel, in Windang, 20 minutes from Ms Foreman's home in Corrimal.

That evening, Ms Evans and Mr Spicer went to K-Mart and purchased a bucket, a water container and a torch, costing $18.50, before going to two petrol stations.

At the first, Mr Spicer allegedly filled the water container with petrol, and at the second he bought firelighters and a lighter.

By 1.30am, they allegedly did a final drive-by of Ms Foreman's home in Doncaster Street, Corrimal.

An hour later, at about 2.30am, Ms Evans allegedly crept up to the front door and unlocked it, before Mr Spicer joined her and they entered the house.

''Spicer was in possession of the bucket containing fuel, Evans was in possession of the firelights,'' police allege.

Mr Spicer allegedly poured the petrol throughout the main bedroom where Ms Foreman slept while Ms Evans used the firelights to light the blaze. The fire immediately engulfed the bedroom.

Ms Foreman's body was discovered outside the bedroom door. Police believe she had woken as the fire took hold but collapsed under the effects of the fire and smoke inhalation

A witness has told of hearing voices at about 2.30am, and police will allege they belonged to Mr Spicer and Ms Evans as they fled the home.

''Whilst talking, the male said something and the female laughed out loud - the witness described it as a happy and mischievous laugh,'' police allege.

Between the date of the fire and their arrests on December 21, police covertly recorded numerous conversations between the various members of the alleged conspiracy.

Among them were alleged comments by Ms Proud about how she needed to get the ''couple of thousand'' dollars still owed to them.

''Wendy had dogged us, we had to hock [a] camera, video games, a DS and a Wii just to pay for a train ticket to get home for all of us,'' she allegedly said to a witness.

According to the police case statement, a day or so later, she continued: ''Wendy has not paid the money that she owes us and BJ [Spicer] and I are going to bash the shit out of her if she does not pay in the next day or so.''

A further $1000 was allegedly paid a short time later.

All accused will reappear in court via audio visual link on December 17. None has entered pleas, nor applied for bail since their arrest. 

Family stays silent after tragedy

The family and friends of Katie Foreman have maintained a dignified silence since she died in horrific circumstances just over 12 months ago.

On November 1 last year, three days after her body was found in the burnt-out remains of her house, a simple, heartfelt death notice appeared in the Mercury: ''Katherine Ann (Katie) Foreman. Dearly beloved daughter of Ann and Neal. Loved sister of Matthew. Loving partner of Brad Rawlinson. Loving aunty of Gemma, Liam and Brendon. Tragically taken. Forever in our hearts.''

Just 10 days later, ''the Foreman family and Brad Rawlinson'' extended their sincere thanks to friends and colleagues for their support after the ''sad and tragic loss of Katie'' in another notice published in the paper.

''Your cards, prayers, phone calls, flowers and support were received warmly and have comforted us in this difficult time,'' the notice read.

But six weeks later, their grief was compounded when Foreman's so-called ''loving partner'' was arrested and charged with masterminding her killing with his new partner, a woman who is accused of being motivated by revenge.

Foreman's family has politely declined requests for interviews and the president of the Wollongong and District Law Society, Helen Volk, has previously told Fairfax that the family believed in the justice system - that people were innocent until proven guilty - and that they just wanted to see the case properly tried.


The victim Katie Foreman.

The victim Katie Foreman.