Beds, Herts & Bucks

Accused killer of author Helen Bailey 'spoke in past tense'

Helen Bailey Image copyright SBNA
Image caption Helen Bailey was missing for three months before her body was found under her garage

The man accused of murdering children's author Helen Bailey repeatedly spoke of her in the past tense while she was still missing, a court has heard.

Ian Stewart, 56, also gave conflicting accounts of when he had last seen his fiancée alive during the three months she was missing, St Albans Crown Court was told.

Ms Bailey's body was found in a cesspit in July at the home she shared with Mr Stewart in Royston, Hertfordshire.

Mr Stewart denies killing her.

The 51-year-old Northumberland-born writer, of the Electra Brown series, was last seen on 11 April and reported missing by Mr Stewart three days later.

More news from Hertfordshire

Her body was found beneath the garage of her home three months later, together with that of her dachshund Boris.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption It took two days to recover Ms Bailey's remains from the septic tank

The court heard how Mr Stewart told one mental health professional that, during the months she was missing, he last saw Ms Bailey walking up a lane, but informed another he came home to find she had left.

Psychiatric nurse Gill Currey told the jury Mr Stewart had spoken of both Ms Bailey and her dog "mainly in... the past tense, what they were going to do".

Consultant psychiatrist Ursula Dlugon told the court he talked about walking the dog in the past tense.

Jurors also heard how, five days after Ms Bailey's alleged murder, her phone connected to a wireless router at her holiday cottage in Kent.

It was the same day Mr Stewart was previously said to have visited the cottage.

The wireless router was later found at their house in Hertfordshire, having been removed and reset, the court was told.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Ian Stewart denies murdering the author

The prosecution alleges Mr Stewart murdered Ms Bailey for her money. She was worth more than £3.3m at the time of her death, the court heard.

He denies murder, preventing a lawful burial, fraud and three counts of perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites