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IT worker accused of murdering a married couple with fentanyl to inherit their fortune created a false identity of a theatre producer called Jenny to deceive their daughter, court told


An IT worker accused of murdering a millionaire couple by poisoning them with fentanyl created a web of false identities to deceive their daughter and inherit their fortune, a could was told today. 

Luke D’Wit, 34, developed a network of false identities, including a solicitor, to convince the family members of Stephen and Carol Baxter that the will he had written for them was real.

D’Wit is accused of murdering Stephen, 61, and Carol, 64, whom the court heard he had worked for and befriended, before killing them with fentanyl – a powerful opioid painkiller 

Chelmsford Crown Court previously heard he had created a false identity of a doctor from Florida, and a ‘support group of false identities who were also sufferers of Hashimoto’s’, the thyroid condition from which Mrs Baxter suffered. 

One of those characters had a sister called Jenny, who claimed to be a theatre producer who could help the couple’s daughter, Ellie Baxter, 22, with her career as a vocalist, jurors were told.

In text messages, Jenny asked Ms Baxter to send her recordings of herself singing, which she then recorded at her parents house with the help of D’Wit using his microphone.

Luke D'Wit, 34, filmed on body cam footage during a police interview. He is accused of murdering a millionaire couple

Luke D’Wit, 34, filmed on body cam footage during a police interview. He is accused of murdering a millionaire couple

Stephen and Carol Baxter who were found dead in their home in West Mersea, Essex by their daughter on April 9 last year

Stephen and Carol Baxter who were found dead in their home in West Mersea, Essex by their daughter on April 9 last year

‘Jenny was setting up a new business and needed a vocalist,’ Ms Baxter told the court.

The songs Jenny requested included Happy Birthday and I’d Do Anything from the musical Oliver!, the court heard.

She told Ms Baxter she would arrange for a recording session and vocal coaching for her in London, the court was told.

‘I can’t wait to get started and meet you in London,’ Jenny said in a text to Ms Baxter, the court heard.

They exchanged multiple messages a day, including childcare arrangements and dietary preferences for the planned visit, it is alleged.

Ms Baxter broke down in court as she said it was ’embarrassing’ to have believed the deception.

‘Jenny was a trusted person, I thought that she was there to help, I thought she was a real person,’ she added.

They continued to speak after Ms Baxter’s parents died, the court heard.

Jenny responded to news of their deaths with a message saying ‘Oh no my darling sweetheart I’m so sorry’.

Prosecutor Tracy Ayling KC previously told the court that D’Wit, using false identities, made recommendations to Carol Baxter with ‘no clinical basis’, adding that the identities were ‘created by Luke on his phone to manipulate’ her.

He told her to ‘keep contact less regular, why not take your family out weekly, one at a time’, adding: ‘You have a serious illness and you need to be sensible… seeing family, it’s that simple,’ the court heard.

Ms Baxter told the court that the day before she found her parents dead, she was travelling past their house with Mr D’Wit when he told her she should ‘go in and check them’.

She refused, telling D’Wit that everything looked normal and she did not want to ‘get a bollocking’, and that she would check them in the morning, the court heard.

D'Wit is accused of murdering the millionaire entrepreneurs whom the court heard he had worked for and befriended, before killing them with fentanyl. Pictured: Stephen and Carol Baxter

D’Wit is accused of murdering the millionaire entrepreneurs whom the court heard he had worked for and befriended, before killing them with fentanyl. Pictured: Stephen and Carol Baxter

The IT worker leaving the shower tycoon's house after he 'killed them with fentanyl' on the evening of April 7

The IT worker leaving the shower tycoon’s house after he ‘killed them with fentanyl’ on the evening of April 7

Another angle of D'Wit leaving the couple's home on April 7 just before 8pm

Another angle of D’Wit leaving the couple’s home on April 7 just before 8pm

Earlier that day, D’Wit was described as ‘weird’ and to have visited their home ‘every day’, their daughter told court.

Ms Baxter, 22, said her mother had become reliant on D’Wit because of her poor health, and was made to drink ‘gross’ herbal remedies to help. 

D’Wit is accused of murdering the millionaire entrepreneurs whom the court heard he had worked for and befriended, before killing them with fentanyl – a powerful opioid painkiller.

Ms Baxter, who found her parents dead sitting in their armchairs in their conservatory on Easter Sunday last year, told Chelmsford Crown Court how her mother and father ‘got on’ with D’Wit but said they all believed he was ‘weird, but nerdy weird’.

He had initially been brought into her parents’ shower mat business Cazsplash in about 2012 or 2013 to ‘help build the website’ because of his experience with technology, before eventually coming round to their house ‘every day’, Ms Baxter told the court.

D’Wit was paid about £15 an hour by the couple, and had ‘at least three phones’, she said.

He knew the security key pin to the gate of their house, as well as the location of a key safe, Ms Baxter said.

As time went by, D’Wit would usually give her mother, who suffered from the autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s, her medication in both the mornings and in the evenings, jurors heard.

‘Mum was quite reliant on him by the end,’ Ms Baxter added.

The will D'Wit allegedly created on his phone which was released by police

The will D’Wit allegedly created on his phone which was released by police

D'Wit was paid about £15 an hour by the couple, and had 'at least three phones', their daughter said. Pictured: Stephen and Carol Baxter

D’Wit was paid about £15 an hour by the couple, and had ‘at least three phones’, their daughter said. Pictured: Stephen and Carol Baxter

The home of the millionaire tycoon husband and wife in  Essex

The home of the millionaire tycoon husband and wife in  Essex

Ms Baxter, who ‘got on pretty well with D’Wit’, told the court he made her mother drink herbal remedies in ‘horrible smoothies’ which were supposed to help with her illness.

‘They tasted gross … I think mum just got a bit desperate’, she said.

Ms Baxter described her mother as a ‘bubbly’ and ‘flamboyant’ woman who was getting confused and ‘misplacing things’ because of her health condition.

Her ‘hard worker’ father, an engineer, ‘made a plan’ to retire early and downsize shortly before his death, she told the court.

The day before she found her parents’ bodies, Ms Baxter told the court she borrowed £400 from D’Wit to pay for repairs to her car.

Prosecutors allege D’Wit installed a ‘mobile security surveillance application’ on his phone allowing him to monitor a camera from another device.

Two days before Mr Baxter and his wife were discovered dead by their daughter, doorbell camera footage captured D’Wit walking towards the Baxters’ address looking at a phone, it is alleged.

‘Was he watching them die?’ Tracy Ayling KC, prosecuting, said previously.

‘Was this when Mr D’Wit made everything pristine, cleaning up the cups and not leaving any trace?’

Previously, the court heard how a will ‘was created by Luke D’Wit on his phone’ the day after the bodies were discovered. 

He was the beneficiary of the ‘very odd will’ which included terms such as ‘our dear friend Luke D’Wit is to be the person of significant control’ in Cazsplash, the company the couple ran which sold bespoke bathmats to go around curved showers. 

Mrs Baxter was managing director of Cazsplash Ltd, a bathroom accessories firm which sells bath mats designed to fit around curved or corner showers

Mrs Baxter was managing director of Cazsplash Ltd, a bathroom accessories firm which sells bath mats designed to fit around curved or corner showers

Tributes were paid to Stephen and Carol Baxter by their neighbours, who said they were a 'lovely couple'

Tributes were paid to Stephen and Carol Baxter by their neighbours, who said they were a ‘lovely couple’

Prosecutor Tracy Ayling QC told jurors: ‘He had rewritten their will and stolen Carol’s jewellery, among many other things, to benefit from their deaths.’ 

Their original will stated their estate would be left to their four children – two from their marriage and Mrs Baxter’s two other children from a previous relationship. 

In the 999 call played to the court previously, Ellie screamed and wept and told a call handler: ‘I need an ambulance right now.’

She said ‘I need to get inside’ and was heard banging on the glass of the conservatory, swearing and saying that she thought they were dead.

D’Wit then took over the call, as Ms Baxter wept in the background, and told the call handler: ‘I’m a friend.’

The defendant appeared to be ‘very calm and plausible’ during the call, the prosecutor said.

He was the ‘last person to see them alive’ but ‘wasn’t seen as a suspect and in fact provided statements to police as a witness’.

Ms Ayling told the jurors: ‘He said Carol was asleep and Steve was standing in the kitchen saying he was going to do something for dinner,’ said Ms Ayling.

But police were ‘able to discover he left Carol and Stephen incapacitated at this time’, she added.

In an account to police, D’Wit said he left the Baxters’ at 7.55pm on April 7. Jurors have been shown Ring doorbell camera footage of him leaving the couple’s home.

Two days later the couple were found dead by their daughter, Ellie – with a post mortem later revealing they had ingested large amounts of fentanyl. 

Checks of the stomach contents in both victims ‘suggests but doesn’t conclusively show that the drug was ingested orally’.

Mrs Baxter, who had a thyroid condition and a pacemaker, was also found to have the antihistamine drug promethazine in her system.

‘It’s difficult to imagine any scenario when two individuals who are not prescribed fentanyl could accidentally contaminate their food with this drug,’ Ms Ayling said.

The Baxters’ deaths were treated as unexpected but not suspicious at first.

D’Wit denies murdering the couple.

The trial continues.



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