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Helen Bailey murderer sentenced to 34 years

Ian Stewart who had always denied any involvement. Credit: ITV News

A man who killed Northumberland author Helen Bailey by drugging her with sleeping pills before dumping her body in a cesspit has been jailed for 34 years.

Ian Stewart, who always denied any involvement in her disappearance, was convicted of murdering his fiancee at St Albans Crown Court.

The 56-year-old spent weeks poisoning his fiancee with prescription sedatives, before smothering her in a "heinous" plot motivated by greed in April last year.

The 51-year-old Electra Brown writer was dragged into the tank, deep below the couple's luxury home, where she remained hidden for three months.

Her devoted dachshund Boris was found dead at her side.

Helen Bailey's dachshund Boris was also found dead in the cesspit. Credit: ITV News

Stewart refused to attend the hearing, where he was sentenced to life with a minimum of 34 years.

I am firmly of the view that you currently pose a real danger to women with whom you form a relationship."

– Judge Andrew Bright

A jury found Stewart, of Baldock Road, Royston, Hertfordshire guilty in a unanimous verdict of murder, fraud, preventing a lawful burial and perverting the course of justice.

Whilst we will never know whether you may have had some additional motive for killing the woman who loved you and wanted to be your wife, I am in no doubt this is a clear case of a murder done in the expectation of gain with aggravating features which make it difficult to imagine a more heinous crime."

– Judge Andrew Bright

For months Stewart lied about the disappearance of his bride-to-be, whom he claimed had abruptly left for 'space'. He came up with a story that two men named Nick and Joe had kidnapped her and were to blame for her death.

After the pair moved into their £1.5 million home together, Stewart slowly began slipping her his prescription anti-insomnia medication. Then once she had been stupefied by the drugs, he killed her on 11th April last year.

James Arthur thanks fans after missing out on Brit

Saltburn singer James Arthur has tweeted his thanks to fans after missing out on a Brit Award. The X Factor winner was up for Best Video and Best Single for his song Say You Won't Let Go.

James Arthur Credit: PA

"We didn't get 'em this time but what an honour it was to be nominated and we'll get em next time."

– James Arthur on Facebook
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