Daughter was arrested over parents' fentanyl poisoning in Essex 'was loaned £7k by murder-accused'

Ellie Baxter, daughter of fentanyl poisoning couple Carol and Stephen Baxter, and Luke D'Wit, who is accused of their murder.
Credit: ITV News Anglia/Essex Police
Ellie Baxter, left, said Luke D'Wit had been like "a brother" to her. Credit: ITV News Anglia/Essex Police

The daughter of a married couple who were allegedly poisoned with fentanyl was arrested on suspicion of their murders and later released before a family friend was charged, a court has heard.

Ellie Baxter told Chelmsford Crown Court that Luke D’Wit, who is on trial accused of murdering Stephen and Carol Baxter, had been like a brother to her.

D’Wit, 34, is accused of rewriting a will for Mr Baxter, 61, and his 64-year-old wife the day after they were found dead at their home in Mersea Island in Essex on 9 April last year.

Their daughter Ellie Baxter, giving evidence in court, agreed with a barrister that D’Wit had loaned her thousands of pounds.

Adam Davis KC, for D’Wit, told her: “I can give you a total, which was well over £7,000.”

Mr Davis added: “At no point did he ever say ‘no’ to you.”

Ms Baxter replied: “No, we were very close.”

Stephen and Carol Baxter were both found dead at their home in West Mersea. Credit: Facebook

She said that it “did get to a point after my parents died I did have no money, my partner wasn’t able to work after we were all arrested”.

The court was told that Ms Baxter had been arrested on suspicion of her parents’ murders earlier in the investigation, and was later released.

She said: “Luke, I honestly thought was my brother, but unfortunately the evidence is stacking up and it all makes sense now.”

Asked by Mr Davis if she could not run her parents’ shower mat business without Mr D’Wit, she said: “No, his knowledge was far more than myself or my parents on websites and what not – that was a worrying factor.”

D’Wit allegedly created a fake will on his phone, making him a director of the Baxters’ shower mat company.

Ms Baxter agreed that there was a way into her parents’ house, “from another road into the back of the property”, that avoided doorbell cameras at the house.

She was earlier asked questions about profiles, allegedly fake and created by D’Wit, that she had been messaging online.

The court heard that after D’Wit’s arrest, the messages from these profiles stopped.

Prosecutor Tracy Ayling KC asked Ms Baxter how she felt when she realised the people she had been messaging were not real.

“I was just absolutely beside myself,” said Ms Baxter. “Confused, what has happened, who do I trust now?”

Mr Davis later asked Ms Baxter: “Were you involved in your parents’ death in any way?”

She replied “I was not”. She also denied that she was involved in a “cover-up”.

As her voice cracked, Ms Baxter said: “All I’m guilty of is loving my parents.”

As her cross-examination by Mr Davis concluded, prosecutor Ms Ayling asked Ms Baxter if she was OK and she tearfully replied “yep” and nodded.

The trial continues.

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