Ian Stewart was confronted by two two men he allegedly used as models for Helen Bailey's kidnappers
Ian Stewart denies he killed Ms Bailey and insists she was abducted by a tattooed thug called Nick and his foreign-sounding henchman, Joe.
But Stuart Trimmer, QC, prosecuting, claims Stewart invented the pair and based their descriptions on two acquaintances.
Stewart’s former neighbour Nick Cook and bowls player Joe Cipullo were brought into court. “They are both here so you can have a plain look at them,” said Mr Trimmer.
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“You recognise them, do you Mr Stewart?”
The accused replied: “Yes, it’s Nick and Joe.”
Smartly dressed in suits, Mr Cook and Mr Cipullo were then escorted from St Albans Crown Court.
There is no suggestion either man had any involvement in Ms Bailey’s disappearance or death.
Ian Stewart denies killing his financee Helen Bailey
Stewart met them when he was living in Bassingbourn, a village in Cambridgeshire, the court heard.
The contention of the Crown is that Joe and Nick simply don’t exist
Stuart Trimmer, QC
He claims Helen was abducted by a kidnapper named Nick who was in his 50s, spoke with a London accent and had tattoos.
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Stewart also claimed Nick had an accomplice named Joe who was a shorter, grey-haired man with olive skin and a foreign accent.
Stewart dismissed comparisons between the supposed kidnappers and two real-life acquaintances brought before the jury.
“Can you think why anybody hearing your description would have in mind those men?” asked Mr Trimmer.
Stewart replied: “No, they don’t compare at all.”
He told the jury he had not seen Mr Cipullo for six years.
“Those two who walked in don’t know each other at all,” Stewart said.
“They are in totally different circles.”
Mr Trimmer said: “The contention of the Crown is that Joe and Nick simply don’t exist. They are a figment of your imagination.”
Stewart claims she was abducted by a tattooed thug and his henchman
Stewart, 56, denies murdering Ms Bailey in April last year and dumping her body in a cesspit at their home in Royston, Hertfordshire.
The computer expert allegedly drugged her with his own sleeping medication and suffocated her. Stewart also denies fraud, perverting the course of justice and preventing a lawful burial.
Mr Trimmer said: “You poisoned her; you killed her.”
Stewart replied: “I didn’t do either of those things.”
Mr Trimmer: “Whoever it was, and the Crown suggest it is you, chose to shamefully deal with her body.”
Stewart: “It wasn’t me.”
The remains of the 51-year-old children’s writer were discovered in July last year.
Stewart kept up a “complicated charade” in a bid to convince police, public and press that Ms Bailey had gone missing, Mr Trimmer said.
Her supposed abduction had to be kept secret or Nick would harm her, Stewart has told the jury.
Ms Bailey’s mobile phone was the only line of communication to the kidnappers. But Stewart used it to send “pointless” messages including “Contact the police” as well as a string of kisses, said Mr Trimmer.
“Anyone looking at this would get the impression of someone whose lover had disappeared and you were expressing your love for her,” he told the jury.
“It looks like you’re trying to burnish the lie that she had just gone off on her own.”
The trial continues.
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