Ian Stewart murder trial: 999 call saying 'my wife had a fit' played to court

Convicted killer Ian Stewart is standing trial at Huntingdon Crown Court accused of murdering his wife, Diane.

Convicted killer Ian Stewart is standing trial at Huntingdon Crown Court accused of murdering his wife, Diane. - Credit: Herts police

The 999 call made by Ian Stewart, who is accused of murdering his wife, has been played in court - with Stewart telling paramedics his wife had an epileptic seizure. 

Ian Stewart, who is 61 and from Letchworth, is accused of killing Diane Stewart, 47, at their home in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, in 2010.

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

Diane's death was investigated after Stewart was found guilty in 2017 of murdering his fiancé, the Royston children's author Helen Bailey, and hiding her body in a cesspit in their home.

In the 2010 emergency call, which was played to jurors on Tuesday, the defendant tells the 999 operator: "My wife had a fit. She's in the garden."

Asked by the call handler if his wife is breathing, he replies: "No, I don't think so, no."

When asked if he thinks she has suffered a fit he says: "I think so, she does have epilepsy."

Stewart adds: "She hasn't had a fit in a long, long time."

The operator tells Stewart to "pump the chest hard and fast at least twice per second", adding: "We're going to do this at least 600 times or until help arrives."

The call lasts around 20 minutes, and for several minutes of it Stewart is heard counting "one, two, three, four".

At one point he asks the call handler: "Do I just keep going?" She replies: "I will tell you when to stop. You need to go at least 600 times."

Sat in the dock at Huntingdon Crown Court while the call was played in court, Stewart at times leaned forward with his head in his hands, shook his head, and looked up at the ceiling.

Their sons Jamie and Oliver Stewart, and Diane Stewart's sister Wendy Bellamy-Lee, sat in the public gallery in court as the call was heard.

Later in the call, the operator gives Stewart instructions to perform mouth-to-mouth on his wife.

He says: "It's difficult as I think she's been sick. I'm trying to clear it out."

Later the operator tells Stewart to "quickly go and open the door... then come straight back to the phone" to let paramedics through when they arrive".

He replies: "I've got the gates open."

Eventually sirens are heard in the background of the call, and Stewart is heard telling the arriving paramedics: "I think she's had a fit."

Stewart denies the murder of his wife.

The trial continues.