LOUISE HALL and SHANNON TONKIN
THE estranged partner of Wollongong lawyer Katie Foreman, who also worked and was well known in Nowra, has been found guilty of her murder.
Ms Foreman died in a deliberately lit fire in her Corrimal home in the early hours of October 27, 2011.
Bradley Max Rawlinson and his co-accused Michelle Sharon Proud showed no emotion as the jury read out the verdicts just after lunch on Thursday after a day of deliberations.
Outside the court, Ms Foreman’s father, Neil, said, “I’m pleased.”
The Crown case was that Rawlinson colluded with his alleged secret lover, Wendy Anne Evans, to kill Ms Foreman so the pair could be together.
It was alleged Evans, who has already pleaded guilty to a charge of murder, hired Proud and her de facto partner, Bernard Justin Spicer, to help carry out the crime.
The court heard Evans and Spicer went to Ms Foreman’s house and lit the fire that claimed her life. The four individuals were each charged with Ms Foreman’s murder stemming from the allegation that they were part of a joint agreement – referred to as a “joint criminal enterprise” – to seriously harm or kill Ms Foreman.
Rawlinson, Proud and Spicer pleaded not guilty to murder.
Lawyers for Rawlinson had argued that their client only wanted Ms Foreman “scared” that evening, not dead, and had no knowledge she would be killed.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter but the plea was not accepted by the Crown.
Midway through the joint trial, Spicer was granted the right to a separate trial after a legal issue arose in his case.
Mr Foreman said he could not comment any further because of Spicer’s upcoming trial.
Justice Ian Harrison set a date later this month for mention prior to sentence.