Double murderer Ian Stewart has whole life order reduced

Ian Stewart has been found guilty of murdering his wife Diane in 2010 and sentenced to a whole life order

Ian Stewart was convicted of murdering his wife Diane at their home in Bassingbourn in 2010 - Credit: Herts police

Double killer Ian Stewart, who murdered his wife and went on to murder his fiancée, has had his whole-life order revoked at the Court of Appeal.

Stewart, who is 61 and from Letchworth, killed 51-year-old children's author Helen Bailey in 2016 and was found guilty of her murder in 2017.

The bodies of Helen and her dog Boris were discovered in a cesspit at the home the couple shared in Royston.

Royston author Helen Bailey was murdered by Stewart, he is now accused of murdering his wife Diane in 2010. Picture: Alice...

Royston author Helen Bailey was murdered by Stewart, he is now accused of murdering his wife Diane in 2010. Picture: Alice Boagey - Credit: Archant

After this conviction, police investigated the 2010 death of Stewart's wife, Diane Stewart, 47, which at the time was believed to be caused by SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy).

He was found guilty of her murder, which took place at their home in Bassingbourn, in February this year.

Amjad Malik QC, for Stewart, argued that the whole-life order he was given for the murder of his first wife was not justified in the circumstances of the case.

In a ruling today, Lord Burnett and the four other judges said Stewart was "not one of the rare cases" where a whole life order should be imposed, reducing his sentence to life with a 35-year minimum term.

Stewart was originally sentenced to 34 years in prison for Helen Bailey's murder.

Senior judges heard challenges or appeals to the prison sentences of four other convicted killers, including former police officer Wayne Couzens, who murdered Sarah Everard, and whose appeal was unsuccessful.