A bitter love triangle was at the centre of a plot to murder a Wollongong solicitor, a NSW Supreme Court jury has heard.
Bradley Max Rawlinson, Bernard Justin Spicer and Michelle Sharon Proud stand accused of murdering 31-year-old Katie Foreman following a "campaign of deception" and torment.
All three have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors allege Spicer and another woman, Wendy Anne Evans, crept into Ms Foreman's Corrimal home in the early hours of November 27, 2011, and doused her bedroom with petrol before setting it alight.
"A ferocious blaze commenced," Crown prosecutor Chris Maxwell QC told the court on Tuesday, the first day of the trial.
"She was unable to escape that inferno, although she clearly attempted to."
Ms Foreman's body was found near her bedroom door, badly burned and with black debris in her lungs, "indicating to the (autopsy) doctor that the deceased had been alive and breathing during the fire".
Evans has already pleaded guilty to murder over her role in Ms Foreman's death, the jury heard.
Though it was Evans and Spicer who sparked the fatal inferno, Mr Maxwell said the plot was masterminded in part by Ms Foreman's on-off boyfriend, Rawlinson - who, at the time of the young woman's death, was allegedly professing his love to Evans in a series of SMS text messages.
On October 1 2011, Rawlinson allegedly wrote to Evans: "Just keep thinking: one more week, then she's gone and we are away from her."
Another text allegedly read: "I want to be with you till I die. I hope you understand the various reasons why it needs to happen to her now. I love you."
Yet Mr Maxwell said Rawlinson was still "intimately involved" with Ms Foreman in the days and weeks before before she perished in the inferno he allegedly helped plan, and the lawyer saw him as a "protector".
On October 19, Rawlinson allegedly sent Evans an SMS: "Do me a favour and send her the text from the public phone you were going to yesterday".
That evening, when Ms Foreman received a threatening text message from an unknown number, she turned to Rawlinson in terror.
"Are you here, are you here, answer me quick please," she wrote, according to the crown.
Mr Maxwell said the victim believed someone was in her home and begged Rawlinson to pay her a visit.
"What's occurring is really a campaign of deception orchestrated between Mr Rawlinson and Ms Evans towards the deceased, calculated to cause her fear," Mr Maxwell said.
If the motive for Rawlinson and Evans was personal, Mr Maxwell said, it was purely financial for Spicer and Proud, who allegedly supplied an alibi.
Payments began appearing in the TAB account of a friend of Spicer's in the months after Ms Foreman's death, Mr Maxwell said.
In all, it's alleged Evans and Rawlinson paid out $2400 for help ending the 31-year-old's life.
The trial continues before Justice Ian Harrison on Wednesday.