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Boyfriend on murder plot charge

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

Police say they now believe Catherine Wells-Burr did not die in the fire inside her car

The boyfriend of Catherine Wells-Burr appeared in court yesterday accused of conspiracy to murder her.

Rafal Piotr Nowak, 31, faced magistrates in Bristol a day after his former partner, Anna Julia Lagwinowicz, 32, was at the same court to face the same charge.

Nowak is charged with conspiring together with Lagwinowicz and others between May 1 and September 13 to murder his girlfriend.

Through an interpreter, the Polish national spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.

Nowak, of Willow Way, Chard, Somerset, was remanded into custody to appear alongside Lagwinowicz at Bristol Crown Court on October 9. A 38-year-old man arrested in connection with the inquiry has been released on police bail.

Miss Wells-Burr's body was found inside her burning Ford Focus car, off the A358 near Ilminster, Somerset, on Wednesday last week by firefighters. They had been alerted to the blazing five-door vehicle by passing motorists shortly before 6.30am.

Miss Wells-Burr, 23, who was known as Caf, was a business analyst for Chard-based Numatic International Ltd, known for the Henry vacuum cleaners. Her parents also work there.

Speaking outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp, who is leading the investigation, revealed it was likely Miss Wells-Burr did not die in the blaze and was killed earlier.

"We are in possession of information that leads us to strongly suspect that Catherine didn't die in the fire," Mr Crisp said.

"We believe she was murdered in the early hours of last Wednesday morning and she was transported to the scene of the fire, which was lit at about 6am.

"So we are really keen to speak to anybody who may have seen Catherine's car, which was also transported at the same time.

"We think potentially that car was in the company of another vehicle around the Chard area in the very early hours, travelling around Chard along the A358 to Ashill.

"If anybody sighted that red Ford Focus by itself or with another vehicle, I am really keen to speak to them."

Mr Crisp added that a police operation to speak to motorists along the A358, one week on from when Miss Wells-Burr's blazing car was discovered, had unearthed "new lines of inquiry".

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