Court hears police interview with Royston murder suspect Ian Stewart – who couldn’t remember key moments in lead up to partner Helen Bailey’s disappearance
PUBLISHED: 18:04 23 January 2017
Ian Stewart’s second recorded police interview was played in full at St Albans Crown Court today, in which he said he couldn’t recall key moments around the time his partner – Royston author Helen Bailey – disappeared.
The 56-year-old was slouched in a brown leather chair for most of the two-hour tape which was recorded at their Baldock Road home on May 4 – three weeks after it is alleged he killed Ms Bailey and dumped her body in a cesspit beneath the garage, along with that of her dog Boris.
Det Con John Lockwood conducted the interview with DC Hollie Daines. Taking to the witness stand before the video was shown in court, DC Daines said she had felt unease during the interview with Mr Stewart.
Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC asked: “In terms of co-operating with the enquiry, how did you find Mr Stewart?”
DC Daines replied: “I found his behaviour unexpected at times, he had already snapped at me a couple of times, the grin I found quite odd, and he was rude, uncooperative and dismissive.
“And I felt a certain unease about it.”
On April 26, DC Daines was informed the police’s major crime unit would take over the investigation.
In the tape, Ian Stewart was first asked about the phones in the house, and whether he ever swapped phones with Helen – to which he said they would if one was left at home, or if one had a flat battery.
In the recording he was asked: “Have you swapped as recently as Monday. April 11? When was the last time you saw Helen’s phone?”
Mr Stewart, who is originally from Letchworth, responded: “I don’t remember to be honest, I don’t know.
“You haven’t seen it since she’s gone missing?” to which Mr Stewart said: “No.”
He was also asked if he has access to Ms Bailey’s emails and Facebook page which he said he did, but he stopped signing in as instructed by police.
The jury watched the tape, in which DC Lockwood asked if any new visitors had introduced themselves into his life. There was a long pause and then Stewart said: “No one springs to mind at all, no.” He then said someone was helping design the conservatory.
Mr Stewart was asked to recall what happened on April 11, and said that he couldn’t remember things, even when he was prompted by the officers.
He said he remembered Ms Bailey coming home after going out in her jeep and saying she was never driving again, but couldn’t remember where she was in the house when she said it, what she was wearing at the time or where exactly Boris was.
He was then asked about when he had previously said they had eaten lunch: “I don’t remember having lunch, but if I did say we did then maybe we did.”
In the afternoon he said he didn’t remember the order in which he did things, but he went to the doctors’ surgery in Bassingbourn, went to Royston tip and to the solicitors to drop off papers.
“I remember having to rush out, Mr Stewart said. “I picked up papers for the solicitor from the desk in my study.
Mr Stewart said his partner of four years waved at him from the dining room, before adding: “I don’t think I’m confusing it with another date, we did it so regularly.”
When asked what happened when he returned home, Mr Stewart said: “I came in and Helen wasn’t around, then I found the note on the desk.”
Mr Stewart has said the note was from Helen and said she needed space. In the recording he said he couldn’t remember what paper it was on, probably A4.
“I saw the other papers I should have taken, they were on the desk still – because Helen wasn’t around I knew she wanted to get on with the selling.
“I got back in the car went to drop the papers I forgotten to the solicitors and just dumped them there.”
And when asked if anything was different when he returned home, Mr Stewart said: “Nothing at all.”
Mr Stewart denies murder, and the trial continues.