Stewart 'wasn't distressed and calmly answered questions' at scene of wife's death, paramedic tells court
- Credit: Archant
Ian Stewart "didn't seem particularly distressed or anxious at all" following the death of his wife Diane at their home In Bassingbourn in 2010, a paramedic has told the court where he is on trial accused of her murder.
Stewart, 61, was convicted of the murder of his fiancée Helen Bailey - the Royston children's author - who was killed and dumped in a cesspit under their home in 2016. After his conviction in 2017, the death of Diane was reinvestigated and Stewart was charged with a second murder.
Paramedic Spencer North, who attended the scene on June 25, 2010, said he was let through the gate by Stewart - who is originally from Letchworth - and found Diane in cardiac arrest in the rear garden.
He told jurors at Huntingdon Crown Court that Stewart appeared "initially distracted, idly pacing".
Asked by prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC how Stewart appeared "emotionally", Mr North replied that he "didn't seem particularly distressed or anxious at all".
Mr North said Stewart told him his wife suffered from epilepsy, and that he had found her unresponsive when he arrived back home.
The paramedic said there "didn't seem to be any effective CPR but we were told when he came out of the gate that he was just doing CPR".
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He said: "Generally effective CPR causes trauma. You crush the ribs, they pop, they snap, the airway is normally open. Not everyone knows how to do it but that's what you normally see if effective CPR is commenced." He said he saw none of this.
Mr North said he saw "blood-stained saliva" on Mrs Stewart's mouth.
"If there had been effective mouth-to-mouth, what would you expect to see?" asked Mr Trimmer.
"That would have been everywhere," Mr North said. He said there were "no obvious injuries" to Mrs Stewart.
"From my professional experience, when you go to a death of a loved one or a family member (they) typically show a heightened emotional state, screaming, crying, upset," said Mr North.
"Everyone's emotional responses are different. In this particular case he appeared dissociative and was simply answering questions calmly."
An ambulance service form completed at the scene indicated the call time as 11.24am, the ambulance was on scene at 11.41am and death was pronounced at 12.02pm.
Yesterday at court, evidence given by Diane and Ian's sons - who were 15 and 18 at the time - was that their dad was in tears and being consoled by a neighbour.
Police constable Matt Gardner said he attended and completed a coroner's report form as he did not assess the death to be suspicious.
Asked how Stewart was when he was with him, he said: "He answered my questions clearly, I wouldn't say distressed, distraught, but people act very differently under such circumstances."
He agreed that he ascertained that Stewart was the last person to see his wife alive, recording the time of that as 10.30am on June 25.
Stewart denies the murder of his wife. The trial continues.