Husband who killed Helen Bailey ‘killed his first wife and accused him of epilepsy’, court hears

Husband who killed children’s author Helen Bailey, ‘murdered his first wife, 47, who suffered from lack of oxygen to her brain until an hour before her death and blamed it on epilepsy,” the court said.

  • Ian Stewart, 61, is charged with the murder of Diane Stewart, 47, at their home in 2010
  • His cause of death had been recorded as sudden unexplained death in epilepsy
  • Police investigate after a jury finds Stewart guilty of murdering Helen Bailey
  • Stewart denies the murder of his wife and the trial at Huntingdon Crown Court continues










A husband who killed children’s author Helen Bailey allegedly murdered his first wife who suffered from a lack of oxygen to her brain until an hour before her death and blamed it on epilepsy, says a tribunal.

Ian Stewart, 61, is charged with the murder of Diane Stewart, 47, at their home in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, in 2010.

His cause of death was recorded at the time as Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).

Police investigated the case after a jury found Stewart guilty in 2017 of murdering Ms Bailey the year before.

Professor Safa Al-Sarraj, a consultant neuropathologist, was asked to examine preserved parts of Ms Stewart’s brain.

Ian Stewart, 61, who killed children’s author Helen Bailey (both pictured above) allegedly murdered his first wife who suffered from a lack of oxygen to her brain until an hour before her death and blamed it on epilepsy, a court heard.

Stewart is on trial for the murder of Diane Stewart, 47 (pictured) at their home in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, in 2010

Stewart is on trial for the murder of Diane Stewart, 47 (pictured) at their home in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, in 2010

The trial, at Huntingdon Crown Court, was earlier told that although most of Ms Stewart’s remains were cremated, she had donated her brain to medical science.

Professor Al-Sarraj said he observed “changes in the brain…consistent with early ischemia”.

He defined ischemia as “damage to cells due to lack of oxygen and blood supply”.

Stewart (pictured above) denies the murder of his wife and the trial continues

Stewart (pictured above) denies the murder of his wife and the trial continues

Professor Al-Sarraj said he estimated the damage occurred over 35 minutes to an hour, but admitted he was “a bit reluctant” to give figures “as they are all estimates”.

Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC asked Prof Al-Sarraj: ‘(With a) healthy breathing human, you wouldn’t expect to find evidence of ischemia, would you?’, to which the Prof Al-Sarraj replied: “No.”

He said ischemia could be detected in cases where a person dies after suffering from ‘restricted’ breathing for ‘more than 30 minutes’, but said: ‘You may need to look into it carefully. “

Amjad Malik QC, defending, said: ‘SUDEP is possible as a cause of death for Diane Stewart, isn’t it?

Professor Al-Sarraj replied: “I agree. Yes, it’s one of the things you need to consider – but it’s not the only cause of death you need to consider.

A second expert witness, consultant neuropathologist Dr Kieren Allinson, said there was “no positive evidence of a recent seizure“, such as tongue biting.

Police investigated the case after a jury found Stewart guilty in 2017 of murdering Ms Bailey (pictured above) the year before

Police investigated the case after a jury found Stewart guilty in 2017 of murdering Ms Bailey (pictured above) the year before

He described epilepsy as “horrible” and said “people are dying suddenly and unexpectedly from the disease”.

Dr Allinson agreed with Mr Malik that the lack of evidence of a recent seizure “does not make it unlikely that SUDEP will occur”.

He said: “A history of recent seizures is a risk factor for SUDEP, but often they haven’t had a seizure for many, many years.”

Stewart denies the murder of his wife.

The trial continues.

About Michael Bill

Check Also

Fundraiser honors young life lost and raises GFC scholarships

A party at the New York Eatery on May 15 celebrated the life of young …