Helen Bailey killer ‘didn’t seem distressed’ after wife’s death, court hears

The man convicted of killing the children’s author Helen Bailey in 2016 appeared calm after the death of his wife and there were no signs he had tried to revive her, a paramedic has told a court.

Ian Stewart, 61, is on trial accused of the murder of Diane Stewart, 47, at their home in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, in 2010.

Spencer North, a paramedic who attended the scene on 25 June that year, said he was let through the gate by Stewart and found Diane in cardiac arrest in the couple’s back garden.

North said there were none of the usual signs of panic from Stewart at such a scene and no evidence that he had tried to perform CPR on his wife.

“From my professional experience, when you go to a death of a loved one or a family member [people] typically show a heightened emotional state, screaming, crying, upset,” said North, adding: “In this particular case he appeared dissociative and was simply answering questions calmly.”

He told jurors at Huntingdon crown court that Stewart appeared “initially distracted, idly pacing”. Asked by the prosecutor, Stuart Trimmer QC, how Stewart appeared “emotionally”, North replied that he “didn’t seem particularly distressed or anxious at all”.

North said Stewart told him his wife had epilepsy and that he had found her unresponsive when he arrived at home. The paramedic said there “didn’t seem to be any effective CPR but we were told when he came out of the gate that he was just doing CPR”.

He said: “Generally effective CPR causes trauma. You crush the ribs, they pop, they snap, the airway is normally open. Not everyone knows how to do it but that’s what you normally see if effective CPR is commenced.” The paramedic said he saw none of this.

North said he saw “blood-stained saliva” on Diane Stewart’s mouth.

“If there had been effective mouth-to-mouth, what would you expect to see?” asked Trimmer.

“That would have been everywhere,” North said. He said there were “no obvious injuries” to Stewart.

An ambulance service form completed at the scene gave the call time as 11.24am. The ambulance was on scene at 11.41am and death was pronounced at 12.02pm.

PC Matt Gardner said he attended and completed a coroner’s report form as he did not assess the death to be suspicious. Asked how Stewart was when he was with him, he said: “He answered my questions clearly, I wouldn’t say distressed, distraught, but people act very differently under such circumstances.”

He agreed that he ascertained that Stewart was the last person to see his wife alive, recording that time as 10.30am on 25 June.

Stewart denies the murder of his wife.

The trial continues.

Comments are closed.