Helen Bailey account payment 'increased from Windows 10 device at her home'


Payments from author Helen Bailey's bank account were set up from her home on the day she was allegedly murdered there, a court has heard.

A standing order was said to have been increased to £4,000 from a device using Windows 10 connected to the internet at her luxury property on April 11 last year.

Her alleged killer, Ian Stewart, was the only person living at the address who used a laptop with Windows 10 installed, his trial heard on Monday.

The 56-year-old is accused of murdering his drugged bride-to-be and dumping her in a cesspit hidden below their home in a plot to acquire her riches.

Jurors at St Albans Crown Court previously heard that the cash was directed to an account the 51-year-old writer shared with Stewart.

Her bank account was accessed at 2.28pm, which required both possession of her card and knowledge of her pin code, jurors were told.

At the time the standing order was altered - 2.34pm - the digits "4,000" were entered on Stewart's laptop, analysis of partial internet history read to the court on Monday showed.

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

A statement from Barclays Bank, read to the court, said: "From Pc Watson's analysis of the router found at Baldock Road, this had an IP address on the router ... on the 20 April and also the previous 23 days.

"Any device connected to the Baldock Road router would have connected to this address."

It added: "The internet browser used was Chrome as the computer was running the Windows 10 log-in system."

The digit read out was the same one earlier said to have accessed the account.

Three months after her sudden disappearance, Ms Bailey was found submerged in human waste alongside her dog, Boris.

Stewart was said to have flooded the Electra Brown writer's phone with late-night messages and told her "you promised me more" in the wake of her disappearance.

Jurors were read the string of pleas, which began on April 18 2016, one week after she disappeared.

One said: "I have respected your wishes long enough, you have had enough space, love you whatever xxxx."

Another, sent at 5.35am on April 19, said: "Contact the police ... they don't have to tell me if you don't want to, they can stop all the fuss."

The following day, at 3.55am, a text was sent to her phone reading: "I need you back, you promised me more, I love you whatever."

Ms Bailey's phone was never located and it is alleged Stewart disposed of it.

A statement from her friend Margaret Mason was read to the court about a conversation she had with the victim on March 2 2016.

It said: "Helen sent me a private message by Facebook in which she described the problem she was having.

"It said: 'Should we all just run away, change our names and start again'."