Suspect Ian Stewart refused to answer police questions after arrest for murder of Royston author Helen Bailey
- Credit: Archant
Ian Stewart stayed largely silent in the police interviews which took place after he was arrested on suspicion of murdering Royston author Helen Bailey.
The recorded video interviews of more than five hours in total took place at Stevenage Police Station on July 11, 12 and 15 last year, and were shown to the jury on Friday.
His final interview was on the day Ms Bailey’s body was found in a cesspit beneath the garage of the home they shared in Baldock Road.
It is alleged Mr Stewart drugged his 51-year-old partner before killing her and dumping her body with that of her dog Boris.
DC Joanne Kerr was on the witness stand while the videos were played. In the first interview, July 11, Mr Stewart confirmed his name and date of birth, and declared himself well enough to be interviewed.
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The 56-year-old was told by a police officer that he had been arrested of murder, disposing of a body and theft.
“Ian are you guilty of any of those offences?” the officer said
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“No,” he responded.
The jury saw that Mr Stewart then stayed silent, with his solictor preparing a statement saying he didn’t have any more to say.
In the first of three interviews the following day, he again confirmed his name and date of birth, and said that he didn’t feel up to eating breakfast when asked if he’d had any.
The officer told him that he’d been arrested for ‘the most serious matter a person could be arrested for’.
He stayed mostly silent for the interviews but did have a short written statement admitting renewing Helen’s Arsenal season tickets.
He was then released on bail to stay at Letchworth Hall Hotel.
Mr Stewart was rearrested at the front of the hotel in Letchworth Lane at 12.52pm on July 15, after Ms Bailey’s body was discovered.
The same officer said in the interview with Mr Stewart: “You were arrested on Monday this week on suspicion of murder, theft, and disposing of the body, you were held in custody for nearly 36 hours, and were interviewed three times is that correct?” Mr Stewart replied yes.
The officer said: “Since you’ve been rearrested, is there anything you want to tell me?”
Mr Stewart remained silent.
“Is it your intention not to answer my questions?” the officer asked.
Again there was silence, and the court was told that this is how the remaining interview played out.
The jury also heard a statement from Helen’s friend Jay Nolan Latchford, who set up the ‘Where is Helen Bailey?’ Facebook page and helped organise an awareness dog walk on Therfield Heath in May 2016.
She said she met Mr Stewart for the first time at the awareness walk, which he paid for the missing person flyers for. She said she found him ‘unemotional and very contained’.
Mr Stewart denies all charges. The trial continues.