Fiance who murdered kid's author Helen Bailey for £4m ‘smothered or strangled first wife to death 6 years earlier'

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Fiance who murdered kid’s author Helen Bailey for £4m ‘smothered or strangled first wife to death 6 years earlier’

A HUSBAND smothered or strangled his wife to death six years before he murdered his millionaire fiancée with a “choke hold”, a court heard.

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Ian Stewart, 61, allegedly killed Diane Stewart, 47, on the back patio of the home she shared with him and their two sons in Bassingbourn, Cambs, in 2010.

Fiance who murdered kid’s author Helen Bailey for £4m ‘smothered or strangled first wife to death 6 years earlier’

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Diane Stewart died at the family home in Cambridgeshire

Fiance who murdered kid’s author Helen Bailey for £4m ‘smothered or strangled first wife to death 6 years earlier’

Global Tech News Daily

Ian Stewart murdered his partner Helen Bailey Credit: SWNS

An inquest concluded the school secretary suffered a “sudden unexplained death through epilepsy”.

But Huntingdon Crown Court was told a pathologist and scientists found the death was most likely caused by “a prolonged restriction of her breathing from an outside source”.

Stewart, who denies murder, was able to “fool” medics, it was said.

Jurors heard in a “stroke of fortune”, Diane had donated her brain for research – with experts finding she had been either suffocated or strangled.

The oxygen to her brain had been “substantially reduced” in the hour before her death.

Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC said: “This defendant murdered his own wife at the home they shared.

“His explanation for the circumstances of her death can be disproved by the medical evidence.

“In short, the Crown say, he killed her.”

Jurors were told jobless Stewart was convicted in 2017 of murdering his millionaire partner Helen Bailey, who was worth £4million.

The couple met in a Facebook bereavement group, which Stewart joined after Diane died.

The remains of the children's author were discovered in a cesspit full of human excrement alongside her beloved pet dog Boris in April 2016.

Helen wrote the successful Crazy World of Electra Brown series and published 22 books of short stories, picture books and young-adult fiction.

It later emerged she had been drugged with sleeping medication before she was killed.

Police officers and scientists began re-examining Diane's death after that “particularly callous crime”, it was said.

The court was told he was at home with his wife alone on the day she died and no one else had seen her that morning.

There had been “some arguing” between the couple in the week leading up to her death, it was said.

Stewart called an ambulance saying he had returned home from Tesco to find his wife unresponsive and not breathing.

TRAGIC END

When paramedics arrived at the home, they discovered Diane without a heartbeat, jurors heard.

There was also no evidence Stewart had left the house on the day she fatally collapsed, the court was told.

After her death, Stewart went out to buy a sports car and began embarking on new relationships.

Diane's remains were cremated but her brain was donated to medical research and brain tissue was also kept.

Scientists were able to use this to find her chances of dying from epilepsy were more than one in 100,000, it was said.

The court was told she had not suffered a seizure for 18 years and it was an “extremely low” chance epilepsy killed her.

Her brain also showed evidence of ischemia – when the brain is starved of oxygen for up to an hour, jurors were told.

Mr Trimmer said: “Helen Bailey’s murder is significant in this instance.

“Of particular significance is that he murdered a partner. He murdered her at home, in a home he shared with her.

“He murdered her at a time both his sons were absent.

“He murdered her mid-morning and murdered her by restricting breathing, probably by a choke hold.

“And he showed a willingness to cover up the murder.”

The trial continues.


If you have been affected by anything in this article, call the 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.


Fiance who murdered kid’s author Helen Bailey for £4m ‘smothered or strangled first wife to death 6 years earlier’

Stewart was convicted of murdering Helen Credit: PA:Press Association

Fiance who murdered kid’s author Helen Bailey for £4m ‘smothered or strangled first wife to death 6 years earlier’

Her body was found in a cesspit with dog Boris Credit: SWNS:South West News Service

Fiance who murdered kid’s author Helen Bailey for £4m ‘smothered or strangled first wife to death 6 years earlier’

Stewart smothered her to death

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