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Victim's family in immigration plea

The parents of a murdered university graduate have called for tougher EU immigration controls as her Polish murderers faced life sentences.

Rafal Nowak, 31, spent months plotting with his secret mistress and her uncle the death of his girlfriend Catherine Wells-Burr, 23, so he could benefit from her £123,000 life insurance.

He has been convicted of the business analyst's murder at Bristol Crown Court, along with lover Anna Lagwinowicz, 32, and her doting uncle Tadevsz Dmytryszyn, 38.

Speaking after the case, Phil and Jayne Wells-Burr said Nowak would not have been allowed into the UK if the country had tougher immigration laws. The factory worker was convicted in his homeland of assaulting his wife, whom he abandoned with their now-teenage son in 2008 to move to the UK to earn money to pay off a £6,500 debt following a drink-drive crash.

Mrs Wells-Burr, 46, said: "There is no screening of people coming into this country. We didn't know that Rafal had had an assault charge on him while back in Poland. I kind of think this Government needs to wake up a bit." Mr Wells-Burr, 48, added: "That is what we need in this country now."

Burly and heavily-tattooed Nowak killed Miss Wells-Burr as she slept in bed at their new build two-bedroom home in Chard in Somerset on September 12. The factory worker had meticulously planned the murder with jealous Lagwinowicz and Dmytryszyn, who helped remove Miss Wells-Burr's body from the house.

The body was driven to a roadside at Ashill, near Chard, and placed in the driver's seat before the vehicle was set on fire at 6am - 20 minutes after Nowak clocked into work at Numatic International, makers of Henry vacuum cleaners.

Nowak and Lagwinowicz, who had been in a two-year relationship, met up for sex and to plot the case on up to 87 occasions and exchanged hundreds of phone calls. They spent months leaving a false trail for detectives, creating fake profiles for Ms Wells-Burr on adult websites and sending texts to her phone from a supposedly mystery lover.

Speaking afterwards Mrs Wells-Burr said the trashing of their innocent daughter's impeccable character proved how "calculating" they were. She said: "The hatred shown to her has truly shocked us, especially the hatred shown by Rafal Nowak, a man who was meant to have loved her. His betrayal to our family has devastated us."

During the trial, Nowak, of Willow Way, Chard, Lagwinowicz, of South Street, Taunton and Dmytryszyn, of Holway Avenue, Taunton, denied having any part in the murder. But the jury found them guilty and they will be sentenced on Monday morning by Mrs Justice Sharp.


From Belfast Telegraph