Cathy Bartlett found guilty of the attempted murder of her sister

11/12/2015

Cathy Bartlett, 30, from Fawley (Hampshire) was today found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of the attempted murder of her sister Rachael, 34, after she set fire to their mother's house in Bartley on 7 April 2015. She was also convicted of 10 offences of fraud. She had pleaded guilty to an offence of theft.

Following the sentence, Kate Lewis, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Wessex said: "Cathy Bartlett's greed and her fantasies of grandeur pushed her to coldly plan the murder of her own sister to prevent her being exposed for what she really was - a fraud and a thief.

"She took extreme and unimaginable measures to hide the extent of her dishonesty towards her sister by trying to kill her.

"The jury at Winchester Crown Court heard how her sister Rachael loved her and trusted her like many sisters do."

Rachael had offered Cathy a job as her financial manager at the company she had set up in 2014.

The court heard how the younger sister stole about £100,000 of both Rachael's and their father's money.

Miss Lewis said: "She created a fantasy in which she played the role of a businesswoman with lot of money and contacts. She was maintaining the illusion by buying people expensive gifts and spent about £20,000 on Southampton Football Club hospitality tickets, which she then gave away with the aim of buying friends.

"When Rachael started to become suspicious about her finances, she put pressure on Cathy to book an appointment with her accountant and the bank, but each time Cathy found excuses to stall her.

"It was the prosecution's case that Cathy knew that her web of lies would be exposed and therefore planned to kill her sister. We said that she was the prime suspect of the earlier fire at her father's mobile home, which was where Rachael lived.

"Fortunately Rachael managed to escape the caravan but her dog, Jade, was killed. This did not put off Cathy, who decided to strike again about a month later at her mother's house where Rachael and her mother were staying.

"She knew that if she were to be successful in her sinister enterprise, people would think that Rachael had stolen her father's money as it went through her account and, of course, Rachael would not have been there to defend herself.

"Not only did Cathy Bartlett steal her sister's savings, she abused her trust and would have gone as far as killing her in order to protect her fantasy life.

"We hope that Rachael Bartlett and the rest of her family will now be able to move on with their lives."