Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Woman remanded over graduate death

Catherine Wells-Burr was found dead inside her burnt-out car in Ashill, near Ilminster, last Wednesday morning (Avon and Somerset Police/PA)
Catherine Wells-Burr was found dead inside her burnt-out car in Ashill, near Ilminster, last Wednesday morning (Avon and Somerset Police/PA)

A 32-year-old woman has appeared in court charged with conspiracy to murder university graduate Catherine Wells-Burr.

Anna Julia Lagwinowicz faced magistrates in Bristol following the death of Miss Wells-Burr, whose body was found inside her burning car near Ilminster, Somerset last week. The Polish national is charged with conspiring together with other persons to murder Miss Wells-Burr between May 1, 2012 and September 13, 2012.

The defendant, who is the ex-partner of Miss Wells-Burr's boyfriend Rafal Nowak, 31, spoke only to confirm her name, age and address during a brief hearing before JPs.

Lagwinowicz appeared in the dock of courtroom two alongside an interpreter and a custody officer. No application for bail was made and reporting restrictions were not lifted.

The defendant, of South Street, Taunton, Somerset, was remanded in custody to appear before Bristol Crown Court on October 9.

Jill Yeomans, chair of the bench, told her: "We are sending you to the crown court to stand trial. You will be remanded into custody until October 9."

Two men, aged 31 and 38, remain in custody in connection with the investigation.

The grim discovery was made by firefighters alerted to the blazing five-door vehicle by passing motorists shortly before 6.30am off the A358 in Ashill on September 12. Avon and Somerset Police have appealed for witnesses, describing the death as "tragic and brutal".

Miss Wells-Burr, known to friends as 'Caf', lived in Chard, Somerset, with her parents and sister Leanne. After gaining a first-class degree in business management at Bath Spa University, she went to work as a business analyst for Chard-based Numatic International Ltd, known for Henry vacuum cleaners.

Jayne and Phil Wells-Burr said their daughter was an "amazing, special person" who was excited about starting a new life with her boyfriend. In a statement last week, they said: "We have lost our beautiful Catherine; she was full of character, she was caring, loving, and had a bubbly personality. She had a wonderful sense of humour, and was an amazing, special person."

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