Body in burning car trial

The trial has begun of three people, charged with murder following the discovery of a body in a burnt-out car in Somerset last September.

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  1. West Country (E)

COURT REPORT: Catherine Wells-Burr murder trial

A factory worker, accused of murdering his girlfriend in Somerset, has admitted that he cheated on her just days before she died, with his ex-lover.

Rafal Nowak is accused of killing Catherine Wells-Burr for her six-figure life insurance policy.

Mr Nowak, his ex girlfriend Anna Lagwinowicz and her uncle Tadevsz Dmytryszyn all deny murder. Our Somerset Correspondent David Woodland was in court...

  1. West Country (E)

Catherine's boyfriend begins giving evidence

Rafal Nowak.

The man accused of killing Catherine Wells-Burr, whose body was found in a burnt-out car in near Chard in Somerset last September, has begun giving evidence at Bristol Crown Court.

31-year-old Rafal Nowak said he left Poland in 2008. He had caused a car-crash after drink-driving in Poland and needed to raise around £6,500 to pay for the damages. He had also broken up with his wife.

He said he moved firstly to Ireland. He then returned to Poland when he met his ex-girlfriend Anna Lagwinowicz on an internet chat site.

He then moved to the UK where he first worked at a London car wash.Nowak told the jury he moved to Bridgwater, then Taunton where he worked in a cake factory, before working at the Numatic Factory where he met Catherine.

Nowak and two others are on trial for her murder.

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  1. West Country (E)

Full report: Catherine Wells-Burr murder trial, day two

A jury has heard how a woman from Somerset shared a bath with her boyfriend just hours before he killed her.

The body of Catherine Wells-Burr was found in a burned out car near Ilminster last September.

Rafal Nowak and two others are on trial for her murder. The prosecution say it's possible Catherine was suffocated in bed with a pillow.

Robert Murphy reports:

  1. West Country (E)

Mrs Wells-Burr says Catherine had depression

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Mother: "On release [we] welcomed him back into the family..."

  1. West Country (E)

Rafal's demeanour was "cold and unemotional"

  1. West Country (E)

Catherine Wells-Burr's mother gives evidence

Anna Lagwinowicz faked letter to frame former lover

The jury was told that from her cell, Anna Lagwinowicz faked a letter pretending to be a hitman hired by Rafal Nowak. Prosecuting Richard Smith QC, said she hoped to pin the blame for Catherine Wells-Burr’s killing on her former lover and shed any blame for her and her uncle.

Below is a transcript translation from the original Polish, picking up from the moment where the ‘hitman’ meets Novak in the Somerset layby on the morning of the murder:

Novak arrived in Catherine’s car a few minutes later. He reversed in and parked by the gate. Inside he had four bottles of barbecue lighter fluid, a black sack containing a bloody duvet.

Inside (her car) was the body of Catherine Wells-Burr. Novak was very pleased that he had killed Catherine. I helped him to seat her on the driver’s seat.

– Extract from Anna Lagwinowicz's faked letter

Richard Smith QC told the jury the letter was written by Miss Lagwinowicz in her cell at Eastwood Park prison. She asked her cellmate, who was due for release, to smuggle it out and post it to the prosecuting authorities. Instead, her cellmate gave it to the police and told them who wrote it.

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