Source: The Illawarra Mercury
Wendy Anne Evans wiped tears from her eyes yesterday after pleading guilty to the murder of Wollongong lawyer Katie Foreman.
Her lawyer entered the plea before a packed courtroom on the second and final day of a committal hearing into the 2011 murder.
Three co-accused, who also appeared in Wollongong Local Court yesterday, were committed to stand trial in the NSW Supreme Court over Ms Foreman’s death.
Ms Foreman, 31, was killed when a blaze ripped through her Corrimal home in the early hours of October 27, 2011.
Her body was discovered near the entrance to her upstairs bedroom.
Less than two months later, four people were arrested and charged with the young solicitor’s murder.
Evans’s lawyer yesterday entered the plea after the final witness in the committal proceedings had given evidence, stressing the basis of the murder charge and the facts of the case were still in dispute.
Magistrate Geraldine Beattie committed Evans for sentence in the NSW Supreme Court on August 2.
Moments later, Woonona man Bradley Max Rawlinson, 40, Bernard Justin Spicer, 31, from Whalan, and Michelle Sharon Proud, 28, from Eastern Creek, were committed to stand trial for the murder and will face arraignment in the NSW Supreme Court on August 2.
Yesterday the court also heard evidence from Wollongong police officer Detective Senior Constable Suzanne Payne, who investigated the cause of the blaze at Ms Foreman’s home.
She told the court petrol had been found on the remnants of the deceased woman’s clothes during forensic testing, while a liquid accelerant had also been detected on the bedhead and near the bedside table.
Under cross-examination yesterday from Rawlinson’s lawyer, Winston Terracini, SC, Senior Detective Payne was unable to explain why a dog used to inspect Ms Foreman’s home had not detected any scent of accelerant on Ms Foreman’s body.
She was also unable to determine whether Ms Foreman had been in bed at the time of the blaze.
“I can’t tell you where she has come into contact with the flames or petrol,” Senior Detective Payne said.
“Before her death she came into contact with petrol and flame, the bedroom was the only place where there was direct flame damage.”
In her examination of the scene Senior Detective Payne determined the bedroom door had been closed at the time the fire had ignited, the court heard.
Although the door was found on top of Ms Foreman’s body, its hinges remained closed and the pattern of smoke markings was consistent with those on a wardrobe in the bedroom, she said.
Wollongong lawyer Katie Foreman.