Fresh details about the death of Ian Stewart’s first wife have emerged after he was convicted of murdering children’s author Helen Bailey.
Diane Stewart reportedly died after an epileptic seizure in the garden of her home in Cambridgeshire in 2010. Police have said they will reexamine the death in light of Stewart’s conviction.
A neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Sunday Times they had witnessed paramedics working on Stewart’s wife as she died.
Three months later the neighbour visited to see how Stewart was coping but found him defensive.
When asked if there was an explanation for Diane’s death, Stewart “seemed annoyed and said ‘no, not really’ and ‘nothing came out of the post mortem’. We didn’t hear anything about epilepsy until much later.”
The newspaper adds that after Diane’s death, Stewart received £28,000 from Cambridgeshire county council, a £33,000 life insurance policy and £16,000 from a Legal and General policy. It also notes he bought an MG sports car three weeks later.
The newspaper adds: “Unusually, there is no record of a will or a grant of probate having been made in Diane Stewart’s name.”
While Diane’s death was ruled as occurring through “natural causes”, her relatives have complained that Stewart refused to show them her death certificate.
After Stewart was sentenced for murdering Bailey, DCI Jerome Kent of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit said: “It would be expected of me to have a look into Diane’s death following this conviction to see if there’s anything that could be done.
“It’s not a criminal investigation, it’s not a murder investigation, there are no suspects.
“When someone is convicted of murder or involved in murder it is only right that we would look back at their past.
“We are a long way off seeing if any other offences have been committed.”
Diane’s family told Cambridge News: “We are fully aware of the re-examination of Diane’s death and support the police in their actions and would like to thank the police for how they have supported our family during this difficult time.”
Hours after murdering Bailey, Stewart, who had already been written into her will, illicitly boosted a standing order to himself from her account, earning himself an extra £12,000 over the three months following her disappearance.
He was arrested on his return from a two-week sunshine holiday in Majorca he had booked with Bailey.
During sentencing, judge Andrew Bright told Stewart: “You knew Helen Bailey to be a wealthy woman, but were not content with having to share in her wealth as her husband.
“Instead you wanted it all for yourself. She had assets well in excess of £3million and had taken out a life insurance policy in the sum of a further £1.28million which you stood to receive in the event of her death.
“I am firmly of the view that you currently pose a very real danger to women with whom you form a relationship.”