The murderer of children’s author Helen Bailey – currently on trial, accused of killing his first wife – was ‘in pieces’ after his death, his youngest son told a jury today.
Ian Stewart, 61, is charged with the murder of Diane Stewart, 47, at their home in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, in 2010.
Prosecutors say he was initially able to ‘trick medical professionals into suggesting she died during an epileptic seizure’, but brain tests later indicated he was likely that his breathing was restricted by an “outside source”.
Oliver Stewart was 15 when his mother died and said he was brought home from school by a neighbour.
He saw ambulances outside the house, he said, and first thought, ‘Oh, Dad is going to have another hospital stay’, as he had the rare myasthenia gravis. long-term, which he described as “muscle weakness”.
Oliver told Huntingdon Crown Court that someone from the police or ambulance service told him his mother was dead.
Helen Bailey and her murdered Ian Stewart who killed her in 2016 and imprisoned for 34 years
Ian Stewart, 61, denies killing Diane Stewart, 47, in Cambridgeshire in 2010
Wiping tears from his eyes, he told the jury that he had identified her body.
“She had foam coming out of her mouth,” he said, adding that he gave his mother “one last kiss.”
Asked by defense barrister Amjad Malik QC about his father’s condition at the time, Oliver replied: “In pieces.”
Oliver said he received information from the pathologist about his mother’s death at a later date.
“I knew she had epilepsy, I had seen the foam in her mouth, it was adding up,” he said.
Oliver described the relationship between his parents as “loving, caring, kind, family-oriented”.
Prosecutors allege Stewart was initially able to ‘mislead medical professionals by suggesting that ‘Ms Stewart’ had died during an epileptic seizure’
The couple’s eldest son, Jamie Stewart, who was 18 at the time, told jurors he was taking his driving test the morning of his mother’s death.
“My driving instructor had brought us back from Cambridge. Then when we stopped on our street, there were three ambulances in front of our house,” he said.
Jamie said her father was “in tears and very upset and I think the neighbor and the paramedics were trying to console him”.
Jamie said he knew his mum had epilepsy and took two pills every morning, but he hadn’t seen her have a seizure “in my lifetime”.
He said he remembered there had been ‘raised voices…between my mum and my dad’ when he was home on study leave for A-levels the week his mother died.
When asked by Mr Malik, Jamie said he ‘couldn’t hear what we were talking about’.
He said he had seen his parents argue over the years, but “it was not a usual thing”.
When asked to describe how his father was at the funeral, Jamie replied: “Devastated”.
Stewart was jailed for at least 34 years in 2017 for the murder of Ms Bailey, 51, who had been drugged with sleeping pills and suffocated in their £3.3million Royston mansion.
His future wife, who wrote the Electra Brown books, was discovered in a cesspool under the garage with her beloved dog in 2016.
After his conviction, police began investigating the 2010 death of Stewart’s wife Diane, 47, whose sudden death was attributed to a massive seizure.
Stewart denies the murder of his wife. The trial continues.