Murder accused fiance 'talked about author Helen Bailey in past tense'


The fiance of author Helen Bailey gave conflicting accounts of when he last saw her and repeatedly spoke of his missing partner in the past tense, a court has heard.

Ian Stewart was said to have told one mental health professional that he last saw the Electra Brown writer walking up a lane, but informed another that he came home to find she had left.

The 56-year-old is accused of killing his drugged partner in a financially motivated plot last year, before dumping her body in a cesspit with her dachshund Boris.

His trial at St Albans Crown Court heard that one psychiatric nurse found him "emotionless" about the 51-year-old's departure and once allegedly put his head in his hands in "an effort to make himself cry".

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

Psychiatric nurse Gill Currey told the court of a meeting the pair had: "He said it (Boris) was Helen's pride and joy."

Stuart Trimmer, prosecuting, said: "In other words, talking in the past tense."

Asked if Stewart had spoken of Ms Bailey in a similar way, Ms Currey said: "Mainly in again the past tense, what they were going to do.

"He had spoken about the wedding that they were hoping to have in September and he said they had booked the registry office but Helen was worried because they hadn't found a venue and time was coming on and he said Helen was always a worrier."

Consultant psychiatrist Ursula Dlugon then told the court: "We mentioned going on walks and I remember asking some more detailed questions about this - if he was going out walking by himself or with dogs - and he made a comment in the words 'We had a dog', as if the dog wasn't there any more, and that was something which stuck in my mind."

Stewart was said to have first given a different account of his fiancee's last movements when talking to Ms Currey on May 18 last year.

She told the court: "He said that his memory wasn't very clear from before or after it.

"He said that she was walking with the dog down the lane which is quite near to the home."

Asked what he said to her, she replied: "I can clearly remember that."

She added that he had told her Ms Bailey had left a note saying she had gone to her seaside home in Broadstairs, Kent.

Jurors previously heard that Stewart had informed other nurses and the police that he had left Ms Bailey at home that day, April 11, returning to find her gone.

He claimed he found a note explaining that she had gone to Broadstairs and did not want to be contacted, the court was told.