Murderer will not benefit from his crime - Royston

10/07/2017

The man, who murdered millionaire children's author Helen Bailey for her multi-million pound fortune, benefited by just a few thousand pounds, a Judge was told today, Monday, 10 July 2017.

Ian Stewart sedated his fiancÚ with sleeping pills before suffocating her and dumping her and her dachshund Boris in a cess pit under the garage of the £1.5 million home they shared in Royston, Herts.

The 51-year-old, who wrote the Electra Brown series of books, was reported missing April last year, but her remains, and those of Boris, were not discovered by the police until three months later.

In February this year, Stewart, aged 56, was sentenced to life and to serve a minimum of 34-years after being found guilty of murder. He will not be able to apply for parole until he is 90.

Today, Stewart appeared again at St Albans Crown Court, via a video link from Bedford prison, for a confiscation hearing.

Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC said it has been ascertained that the only financial benefit Stewart obtained was £10,200 that he had transferred into a joint account that he shared with Helen. After her disappearance, he electronically altered a standing order paid from Helen's account from £600 to £4,000 a month. He had spent £3,154, on renewing Arsenal season tickets, but the rest of the money remained in this joint account.

Mr Trimmer said the confiscation hearing had been delayed because the crown wanted to check that Stewart would not acquire Helen's share of the couple's home, Hartwell Lodge. He said that under the 1982 Forfeiture Act, Stewart's conviction for murder meant he would not profit from their joint tenancy.

Judge Andrew Bright QC made a confiscation order for £5,100 - half of the money in the joint account, which is currently frozen. He told Stewart: "You have assets that outweight that figure. You have 28 days to pay. The alternative is an additional month in jail."

A costs hearing against Stewart is to be heard on 14 August.

After today's hearing Charles White, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern CPS, said: "Ian Stewart had hoped to make a substantial financial gain from the murder of Helen Bailey. His arrest, charge and conviction, however, thwarted that hope.

"The operation of the forefeiture rule will prevent him from deriving any benefit from his crimes in the course of any proceedings.

"The removal of criminal assets from offenders is a very important way of showing our communities that crime does not pay and this should reassure members of the public that the CPS is committed to ensuring offenders do not benefit financially from their crimes."