Beds, Herts & Bucks

Helen Bailey death: Children's author 'found in septic tank'

Helen Bailey Image copyright sbna
Image caption Helen Bailey was known for a series of books she wrote for teenagers

The body of children's author Helen Bailey was found in a septic tank at her home, a court has been told.

The 51-year-old's remains were discovered in the grounds of her house in Royston, Hertfordshire, on Friday.

She was last seen walking her pet dachshund on 11 April. The body of the dog was also found in the tank.

St Albans Crown Court was told about the discovery during a hearing in the case against her partner Ian Stewart, 55, who is charged with her murder.

Mr Stewart, of Baldock Road, Royston is also charged with perverting the course of justice and preventing a lawful burial.

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He appeared via video link and did not enter a plea. He is next due in court on 14 October.

A provisional trial date has been set for January.

Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Hertfordshire Police had previously searched Ms Bailey's house and a holiday home she owned in Kent

Northumberland-born Ms Bailey went missing after apparently leaving a note for her partner saying she wanted some time on her own.

Mr Stewart reported her missing four days later, prompting a police manhunt.

He was arrested and charged on Friday following the discovery of the author's remains.

The results of a post-mortem examination have not yet been released.

Image copyright sbna
Image caption Helen Bailey and her partner Ian Stewart shared a home in Hertfordshire

Ms Bailey's family paid tribute to her on Saturday describing her as "immensely witty and talented".

The author is best known for creating the Electra Brown series for teenagers and also wrote a blog called Planet Grief, after her husband of 22 years drowned on holiday in Barbados in 2011.

Image copyright Terry Harris / Paperpix
Image caption Floral tributes have been left at the author's home

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