Royston murder trial: Ian Stewart sent torrent of texts to ‘missing’ partner Helen Bailey

PUBLISHED: 08:31 09 February 2017

Helen Bailey.

Helen Bailey.

Alice Boagey

The jury in the Royston murder trial heard on Tuesday that suspect Ian Stewart sent a string of text messages to his partner Helen Bailey’s phone after reporting her missing.

Ian Stewart denies murdering Helen, and other charges including disposing of her phone to pervert the course of justice.Ian Stewart denies murdering Helen, and other charges including disposing of her phone to pervert the course of justice.

Mr Stewart denies drugging and killing his 51-year-old partner and dumping her body in a cesspit beneath their Baldock Road home.

Intelligence analyst Kirsty McGowan gave evidence regarding phone activity on the final day of the prosecution case.

On the evening of April 18, a week after the alleged killing, phone records show messages were sent from 56-year-old Mr Stewart’s phone to Ms Bailey’s.

The text that evening read ‘please call’ then another seconds later read: ‘xxx’.

The cesspit police excavated at Ian Stewart's Royston home, where they found Helen Bailey's body and that of her dog Boris.The cesspit police excavated at Ian Stewart's Royston home, where they found Helen Bailey's body and that of her dog Boris.

He then sent another text saying ‘love you more’ and then a fourth – ‘I’ve respected your wishes long enough. You’ve had enough space, let me know you’re OK’.

The court heard how the next day he called her and texted her – asking her to call and that he wouldn’t tell anyone. On April 20, he wrote: ‘I need you back’.

There were then daily calls or texts between April 23 to May 5.

Ms McGowan told the court that records show that from a point during April 11, no further inward or outward calls or texts were received on Ms Bailey’s phone. When asked how that would happen, Ms McGowan confirmed it would be if the phone is switched off, the sim card is removed or if the phone is in airplane mode.

Helen Bailey with her miniature dachshund Boris, who was found dead alongside her in a cesspit at her Royston home.Helen Bailey with her miniature dachshund Boris, who was found dead alongside her in a cesspit at her Royston home.

Simon Russell Flint QC, defending, said that when police checked Ms Bailey’s phone activity from April 4 and April 8 there were periods of inactivity, so it was not ‘uncommon’.

The court also heard statements from Ms Bailey’s friends Janice Rochester and Margaret Mason. Ms Rochester’s statement read that she had known Helen for 43 years – and that the author was ‘a very upbeat and chipper person, was confident and always knew her own mind’.

The court heard how Ms Bailey had communicated concerns about Mr Stewart’s health to Ms Mason, and that she was ‘concerned about being widowed again’.

The trial, expected to last at least another week, continues.


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