Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Author, the Suspect and a PS4m Plus Fortune; Partner Denies Killing Writer Helen

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Author, the Suspect and a PS4m Plus Fortune; Partner Denies Killing Writer Helen

Article excerpt

Byline: Jack Hardy Reporter

THE alleged killer of Northumberland-born children's author Helen Bailey stood to be the "primary" heir of her multimillionpound fortune, a court has heard. Ian Stewart was said to be in line to gain two homes, enough cash to ensure a "very comfortable" lifestyle, and pension and life insurance payments from his fiancee.

He is accused of slowly sedating the writer until she was "stupefied" and probably suffocating her in a financially motivated plot last year.

The 56-year-old would have received almost PS1m more if she had died after they married, as was planned, in September, St Albans Crown Court heard.

At the time of her disappearance in April last year, she was said to have had assets worth PS3,326,316.

She owned three properties and had a total investment portfolio of an estimated value of PS1,850,000, with savings of around PS60,000, and PS90,000 in a joint account with Stewart, jurors heard. In addition, Stewart was also said to be the only beneficiary of about PS235,000 in pensions and PS1.28m in life insurance.

The defendant, of Baldock Road, Royston, Hertfordshire, denies murder, preventing a lawful burial, fraud and three counts of perverting the course of justice.

An email to Ms Bailey from the executor of her will, Anthony Hurley, said: "You specifically wish to ensure that Ian has your share of the main house and the second home in Broadstairs and a capital sum that will ensure he has a very comfortable lifestyle."

Mr Hurley and solicitor Amanda King-Jones, who oversaw the drawing up of the document in July 2014, said they took this as an indication of Ms Bailey's wishes.

Mr Hurley told the court Ms Bailey said to him: "The one thing I want to ensure is that Ian and the boys have security in this house - how much money would that require? …

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