Family of Helen Bailey speak of ‘shock, disbelief and sadness’ at the death of Royston author who was ‘immensely witty and talented’

Helen Bailey's family say they are immensely proud of the 51-year-old's achievements.

Helen Bailey's family say they are immensely proud of the 51-year-old's achievements. - Credit: Archant

The family of author Helen Bailey have spoken of their ‘shock, disbelief and sadness’ after learning that the 51-year-old’s body had been found at her Royston home after a prolonged missing appeal.

In a statement, Ms Bailey’s family said: “We share with Helen’s friends, neighbours and fans our shock, disbelief and sadness at the news of her tragic death.

“As a family we also stand in solidarity with those around the world who have also suffered loss under tragic circumstances.

“Helen was immensely witty and talented. We love her deeply and are immensely proud of her achievements. She is now at peace and we shall all miss her terribly.

“We wish to express our gratitude to the police as well as all those who supported us in the search for Helen in whatever way they could.

“In life, Helen was a very just person and we know that she would now wish, like us, for justice to be done.

“As will be understandable, we request that our privacy be respected at this awful time.”

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In a statement issued by friends of the author while she was missing, the 51-year-old was praised for the impact of her work. They said: “Widowed in 2011 when her husband John Sinfield drowned in Barbados, Helen turned to writing her blog, Planet Grief, as a means of trying to deal with her bereavement and its impact upon her.

“In doing so Helen’s writing struck a chord with other widows and widowers and she gained a huge following with the result that the blog was ultimately turned into the book When Bad Things Happen in Good Bikinis.”

Ms Bailey’s partner Ian Stewart, who had been living with her at their home in Baldock Road, has been charged with the 51-year-old’s murder, perverting the course of justice and preventing lawful burial of her body.

The 55-year-old, who is originally from Letchworth and had been living in Bassingbourn for more than 20 years before moving to Royston, appeared at Hatfield Remand Court today and is due before St Albans Crown Court on Monday.