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Helen Bailey: Man who killed his millionaire lover for money only gains a few thousand

Stewart spent weeks poisoning Helen Bailey with prescription sedatives before smothering her

The man who killed children's author Helen Bailey for her multi-million pound fortune, only made a few thousand pounds from her murder.

Ian Stewart sedated his fiancé with sleeping pills before suffocating her and dumping her and her dachshund Boris in a cess pit under the garage of the £1.5 million home they shared in Royston, Hertfordshire.

A judge branded Stewart a 'real danger to women' as he handed him a minimum 34 year sentence for her murder.

The couple shared a £1.5 million mansion in Royston Credit: ITV News Anglia

The 51-year-old, who wrote the Electra Brown series of books, was reported missing April last year, but her remains, and those of Boris, were not discovered by the police until three months later.

Stewart appeared at St Albans crown court via a video link from Bedford prison today for a confiscation hearing. He spoke only to confirm his name.

Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC said it has been ascertained that the only financial benefit Stewart obtained was £10,200 that he had transferred into a joint account that he shared with Helen. After her disappearance he electronically altered a standing order paid from Helen's account from £600 to £4,000 a month.

He had spent £3,154, on renewing Arsenal season tickets, but the rest of the money remained in this account.

Ian Stewart was jailed for life with a minimum of 34 years Credit: Hertfordshire police

Judge Andrew Bright QC made a confiscation order for £5,100 - half of the money in the joint account, which is currently frozen.

He told Stewart: "You have assets that outweigh that figure. You have 28 days to pay. The alternative is a month in jail."

You knew Helen Bailey to be a wealthy woman, but was not content with having to share in her wealth as a husband.

Instead, you wanted it all for yourself. She had assets well in excess of £3 million and had taken out a life insurance policy in the sum of a further £1.28 million, which you stood to receive in the event am satisfied that your principle motive for killing her was to enable you to take advantage of the generous provision she had made for you in the event of her death.

– Judge Andrew Bright QC
The bodies of Helen Bailey and her beloved dog Boris were found in cesspit under her home.

Under the terms of her will, Stewart would have received the £1.5 million house in Royston, a holiday cottage in Broadstairs, Kent and other money.

During the trial, the jury heard he plotted to murder the author soon after they met in 2012 through an online bereavement group.

The prosecutor said Stewart realised she was a very wealthy woman and was vulnerable because she was grieving for her husband.

He and Helen were engaged and in 2014 she changed her will making Stewart the main beneficiary.

Ian Stewart reacted with shock when he was questioned by police. Credit: Hertfordshire police

Following the hearing Charles White, the Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern CPS, said: "Ian Stewart had hoped to make a substantial financial gain from the murder of Helen Bailey. His arrest, charge and conviction, however, thwarted that hope."

"The removal of criminal assets from offenders is a very important way of showing our communities that crime dos not pay and this should reassure members of the public's the CPS is committed to ensuring offenders do not benefit financially from their crimes."

A costs hearing against Stewart is to be heard on 14 August.

Judge Andrew Bright said Ian Stewart had committed a long planned murder before telling a 'callous series of lies'