Ian Stewart stands trial, accused of killing book author and fiance Helen Bailey
Ian Stewart, 56, said he “never stopped loving” the millionaire children’s writer, who was found dead in a cesspit below her home in Royston, Hertfordshire, in July last year.
An emotional Mr Stewart told St Albans Crown Court about the early days of the couple’s relationship.
He said: “We totally clicked and worked together as a couple.”
Helen Bailey was found dead in a cesspit below her home
Simon Russell Flint, defending, said: “It is going to be suggested tomorrow that you killed her.”
The defendant replied: “No way.”
Ms Bailey’s body was found alongside her daschund, Boris, on July 15, 2016.
She was last seen on April 11 last year.
Stewart denies the murder charges against him
The former software engineer told the court he met Ms Bailey on a Facebook group for widowers and widows following the death of his wife in 2010.
Eventually they began a relationship.
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Stewart, who denies murder, preventing a lawful burial, fraud and three counts of perverting the course of justice, said: “I had fallen in love with her quite quickly.
“I never stopped loving her.”
On the day Bailey went missing, a standing order on her bank account was increased
The court heard that on the day Ms Bailey went missing a standing order on her bank account was increased to £4,000.
I had fallen in love with her quite quickly. I never stopped loving her
A computer using the Windows 10 operating system altered the payment via the internet at her home on April 11 last year.
The court heard that Mr Stewart was the only person with a computer using Windows 10 at the address.
The court was told the cash was directed to an account Mr Stewart shared with the 51-year-old writer.
At the time the standing order was altered, the digits “4,000” were entered on Mr Stewart’s laptop, an analysis of partial internet history read to the court showed.
The author's dog Boris, was found alongside her body
The jury also heard from healthcare assistant Michelle Reader, who helped treat Mr Stewart after an operation last year.
She told the court how, during an appointment on April 21 – 10 days after Ms Bailey vanished – Mr Stewart broke down and said “I just want her back” while he was being examined.
Miss Reader said: “There were no tears and his voice was very wavery.”
It is alleged Mr Stewart sent messages to his partner’s phone after her disappearance.
The trial continues at St Albans Crown Court
He said he did not know about her death until her body was found.
The court heard a string of messages, including: ”I have respected your wishes long enough, you have had enough space, love you whatever xxxx.”
Ms Bailey’s phone was never found and it is alleged Stewart disposed of it.
The case continues.