Jury visits cesspit where body of children's author was dumped

A jury has paid a site visit to the cesspit where the fiancé of a children’s author is alleged to have dumped her body after drugging and killing her. Fifty one year old Helen Bailey was reported missing last year, with police searching for three months before her body was found in a cesspit in her home, along with that of her beloved pet dachshund Boris.

The entrance the 15ft deep cesspit, in Ms Bailey’s £1.5m mansion, was hidden away under a Jeep in the garage at the property. However, when the vehicle was moved and police opened up the lid, her body was found among raw sewage.

Her partner, Ian Stewart, 56, is currently on trial, accused of drugging and killing her and hiding her body at the home they shared together in Hertfordshire. He is denying all charges against him. The court case was adjourned for a day so that jurors could visit the property to see for themselves where her body was eventually found.

Could have been alive

Horrific details have emerged in court, with the jury hearing that the author may still have been alive, although drugged, when she was placed in the well. The court has been told that Mr Stewart’s alleged motive was to gain his girlfriend’s £4m fortune, along with the property. He is accused of having killed her dog too so that it would be more plausible that she had disappeared while going for a walk with her much loved pet.

The author was well known for writing the Electra Brown and Daisy Davenport books for teenagers. It is understood that she was murdered last April. Police officers had to remove brickwork to get to her corpse so that they did not damage it while lifting her out. The jury’s visit came after Ms Bailey’s brother told the court that she had once joked that the cesspit would be a good place to hide a body.

Judith is a qualified journalist who has worked in both the UK and the US, specialising in writing about politics, education and health.