Polish boyfriend of business graduate appears in court accused of plotting to murder her

September 19, 2012 | by | 0 Comments
 Catherine Wells-Burr, who was found dead in her burning car last week

Catherine Wells-Burr, who was found dead in her burning car last week

The Polish boyfriend of a young graduate whose body was found in a burning car has appeared in court charged with plotting to murder her.

Rafal Piotr Nowak, 31, is the second person to face the charge of conspiracy to murder Catherine Wells-Burr, 23, whose remains were discovered beside the A358 near Ilminster, Somerset, last week.

On Tuesday his ex-girlfriend, 32, appeared in court facing the same charge.

Nowak spoke only to confirm his name, age and address which he shared with girlfriend Catherine during the five-minute hearing at Bristol Magistrates Court yesterday.

The heavily-tattooed Pole wore a dark t-shirt and looked gaunt in the dock as he stared at the floor during the hearing.

Nowak, of Willow Way in Chard, Somerset, spoke through an interpreter.

He was charged with conspiring to murder Catherine Wells-Burr together with others at Ashill, Somerset, from May 1 until September 13 this year.

No application for bail was made and a preliminary hearing was set for Bristol Crown Court on October 9.

Chair of the bench Helen Jackson remanded Nowak in custody.

She said: “Your case is going to be sent to the crown court in Bristol. In the meantime you will be remanded in custody.”

Catherine died an “unnatural death” before her body was found burned in her red Ford Focus car at 6.10am last Wednesday.

Flowers and tributes lay next to the police cordon at the scene where Catherine's body was found

Flowers and tributes lay next to the police cordon at the scene where Catherine’s body was found

Speaking outside court yesterday, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp, leading the investigation, once again appealed for any potential witnesses to come forward.

He said: “We are in possession of information which leads us to suspect that Catherine did not die in the fire.

“We believe she was murdered in the early hours of last Wednesday morning and that she was transported to the scene of the fire.

“We are really keen to speak to anybody who may have seen Catherine’s car, which may have been transported at the same time.

“The car could have been with another vehicle in the early hours, travelling around Chard and around the A358.

“If anybody saw the vehicle or another with it we are really keen to speak to them.”

Catherine, who lived in Chard with her mother Jayne and sister Leanne, achieved a first class degree in Business Management at Bath Spa University.

She went on to work as a business analyst at manufacturing firm Numatic International – best known for their iconic Henry hoovers – in Chard.

A 38-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder Catherine Wells-Burr was released on police bail yesterdayafternoon.

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