Helen Bailey murder: Fiance Ian Stewart found guilty

Home of Helen Bailey in Royston, Hertfordshire as Ian Stewart has been found guilty of the murder of the children's author at St Albans Crown Court.

The 56-year-old was convicted of killing children's author Helen Bailey following a six-week trial at St Albans Crown Court.

Driven by greed, Ian Stewart secretly spent months poisoning the Electra Brown writer with his sedatives, smothering her once she had been stupefied in April a year ago.

The court heard that Ian Stewart drugged and suffocated his fiancée before hiding her body in a cesspit.

Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC had told the court that Stewart had been "preying" on Bailey, following her widowhood. Wearing a pale grey shirt and no tie, the former software engineer shook his head upon hearing the verdicts.

Police said after the verdict that they would re-examine the 2010 death of Stewart's first wife.

Ian Stewart. Picture: Hertfordshire Police.

Over a period of several weeks, Ms Bailey became panicked by her deteriorating state of mind, searching online for terms such as "can't stop falling asleep".

Bailey created the Electra Brown and Daisy Davenport series of novels for teenagers, and wrote a blog called Planet Grief after her husband of 22 years drowned during a Caribbean holiday in 2011.

Prosecutors said Stewart likely smothered Bailey with a pillow when she was sedated to gain her 3.3 million-pound ($4.1 million) estate.

"When Helen's body was discovered last July, some three months after she had gone missing, we said we knew Helen would wish, like us, for justice to be done".

"Our thoughts are with Helen's family and friends, who have been devastated by her death".

"A long shadow of loss has been cast over the lives of so many who will always remember Helen with enduring love and affection".

He will be sentenced tomorrow morning.

Stewart admitted continuously lying to Ms Bailey's family and police as they carried out a "futile" missing person investigation after he fabricated a cover story she had ran away.

In the meantime, while playing the part of the abandoned lover, he also boosted a standing order to himself from Ms Bailey's account, making thousands of pounds in the three months it took to find her body.

Analysis of Ms Bailey's hair revealed she had been administered sleeping drug Zopiclone from as early as February 2016. "You are my happy ending".

  • Zachary Reyes