Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Partner 'Trapped in a Nightmare' over Murder He Did Not Commit, Court Trial Told

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Partner 'Trapped in a Nightmare' over Murder He Did Not Commit, Court Trial Told

Article excerpt

Byline: Jack Hardy Reporter

THE fiance of author Helen Bailey has become trapped in a "terrible nightmare" after being accused of a murder he did not commit, a court has heard.

Ian Stewart is on trial charged with smothering his sedated lover and hauling her body into a cesspit below the lavish home they shared last year.

But his defence argued "others are guilty, not him", pointing to two mystery kidnappers named Nick and Joe as the true killers of the Northumberland-born writer.

In his closing argument, Simon Russell Flint, defending, argued "crucial" witness evidence demonstrated Ms Bailey, 51, was still alive beyond the date of her alleged murder.

He added the foul sewage tank where her body was dumped would have been "the last place" the 56-year-old would have wanted to hide her.

Jurors at St Albans Crown Court were told: "Mr Stewart cannot give any more details (about the kidnappers) than that which he has. "He wasn't given a business card, home or work address and email.

"It would be nice to be able to provide further information, to be able to say now to the police: 'it's them, arrest them, prosecute them' and let Mr Stewart step away from the terrible nightmare that he is in.

"Others are guilty, not him and yet he is the one being prosecuted."

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

Stewart claimed his bride-to-be and her dog Boris died in a bungled kidnap plot which had seen him beaten, threatened and held to ransom for half a million pounds. He admitted lying to everyone about Ms Bailey's whereabouts for eight months, claiming this was out of fear his family would come to harm.

Mr Russell Flint said: "Why does he act as he does? To protect her and to protect his children - the most natural thing in the world."

The case against Mr Stewart "disintegrates completely" due to multiple witness sightings of Ms Bailey after she was said to have been killed on April 11 2016, he said. …

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