Ian Stewart claimed two men kidnapped then killed Helen Bailey
Ian Stewart claimed he was at the mercy of thugs who snatched Ms Bailey from their home and threatened to kill her.
He told the jury the menacing pair also warned him they would attack his sons Jamie and Oliver and put them in hospital.
Stewart blames a tattooed mystery man called Nick and his accomplice Joe for killing the children’s writer.
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You are, without doubt, a complete liar
But Stuart Trimmer, prosecuting, told him: “You are, without doubt, a complete liar.”
Stewart replied: “No.” He denies murdering Ms Bailey, 51, last April to get his hands on her £4million fortune.
Her remains was recovered from a cesspit under a garage at their home in Royston, Herts, three months later. The body of her pet dog Boris was next to her.
Stewart, 56, reported her missing but kept silent about Nick and Joe for fear they would harm her, St Albans Crown Court heard.
Jurors were told the pair had been in a business dispute with Ms Bailey’s late husband John Sinfield. After he drowned, they came after her.
Bailey's body was found in a cesspit under a garage at their home in Royston
Stewart claims Nick attacked him in the hallway of their home on the day Ms Bailey vanished. He was ordered to tell no-one about her kidnap, Stewart said.
He claimed Nick returned four days later, put him in a head lock and threatened him.
“I asked where Helen was and he handed me a phone,” Stewart told the jury. “I said, ‘Hi,’ and Helen said, ‘I love you. I’m sorry about everything.’”
Close to tears, Stewart told the jury: “I said, ‘It’s not your fault, I love you too.’”
He claimed that two weeks later, Nick and Joe appeared and asked for access to the garage where she was later found dead.
Stewart reported the author missing but kept silent about Nick and Joe for fear they would harm her
Nick supposedly followed up the threat two months later when he bumped into Stewart in a bar.
Stewart was about to fly to Spain and Nick said: “If you don’t give us what we want by the time you get back, we want more compensation,” the defendant told the jury.
“He said, ‘Half a million pounds.’”
When Stewart protested at the amount, Nick suggested he used his power of attorney over Ms Bailey’s affairs to get the cash.
“I said, ‘I can’t use power of attorney’ and he said, ‘You’re going to have to think about that.’”
Stewart claimed Nick added: “If you tell anyone, you’ll not only not see Helen again, but you will be visiting Jamie and Oliver in hospital.”
Stewart claimed the thugs appeared and asked for access to the garage two weeks later
After she was allegedly kidnapped, Stewart claimed he had to keep up the pretence that Ms Bailey had vanished, he told the jury.
He revealed the existence of the two men five months later.
Stewart was arrested shortly before Ms Bailey’s body was found. He told the jury Nick and Joe put her in the cesspit shortly after kidnapping her or when he was away from the house.
Mr Trimmer said: “The logical conclusion is that it was either them or you?”
Stewart replied: “That is the only conclusion to be drawn, I guess.”
The trial continues.
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