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Evil handyman, 34, who poisoned millionaire couple before watching them die & rewriting their will is guilty of murder

AN EVIL Svengali who took over a married couple’s lives before poisoning them with deadly fentanyl to gain control of their business, is facing a life sentence.

Controlling Luke D’Wit, 34, was today convicted of murdering Stephen and Carol Baxter to benefit from a will he faked purporting to have been made by the couple and stealing her jewellery.

East Anglia News ServiceLuke D’Wit was found guilty of murdering a couple[/caption]

East Anglia News ServiceStephen and Carol Baxter were found dead at their home by their daughter[/caption]

East Anglia News ServiceThe Baxters were found in their Essex home[/caption]

East Anglia News ServiceD’Wit set up a camera app on his phone to watch the pair die[/caption]

IT worker D’Wit is suspected of dipping fentanyl patches for cancer pain relief prescribed for his late grandfather into health drinks he mixed for Carol, 64, and Stephen, 61.

D’Wit then set up a camera app on his phone to watch them die from overdoses of the opioid while slumped in their armchairs in the conservatory of their home in West Mersea, Essex.

The pair were found dead by daughter Ellie on the morning of April 9 last year, Easter Sunday, two days after being poisoned by D’Wit, who lived nearby.

He attended the Baxter’s detached house shortly after they were found and milked the drama, talking to the 999 operator as grief-stricken Ellie wailed.

A four-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court heard how the murders were the culmination of a sinister campaign of manipulation by D’Wit.

Police said he had poisoned Carol for at least two years, spiking pills with metal tacks and giving her near lethal doses of antihistamines.
Carol, who suffered from a thyroid condition, was taken to hospital in March 2022 with severe abdominal pain.

The mum-of-four was found to have a metal tack inside her matching ones later discovered at D’Wit’s home.

The weirdo – who shared a bedroom with his mother in their clutter-filled home – also created a string of bizarre false personas to hoodwink Carol and Stephen.

They included a bogus female US doctor who advised Carol to take whacky concoctions for her illness.

D’Wit also created other fake female identities who supposedly also suffered from Hashimoto’s disease and communicated with Carol by email and WhatsApp.

Police found recordings on D’Wit’s computers of voice notes he sent to Carol in which he impersonated female voices of the false personas he created.

Det Supt Rob Kirby, head of the Essex Police major crime unit, said detectives were left “open-mouthed” as the “scope of his manipulation unfolded.”

“It is unbelievable the lengths he went to, the complex web he created,” said Det Supt Kirby.

The detective added that as well as hoping to benefit financially, D’Wit “got pleasure from the control he had over Carole and Stephen.”

D’Wit was poisoning her for at least a couple of years

Det Supt Rob Kirby

D’Wit wormed his way into the couple’s lives when they hired him to create a website for their shower mat business in 2013.

But his claims of obtaining a computer sciences degree at the University of East Anglia were later found to be bogus.

Det Supt Kirby said D’Wit “ingratiated himself with the family” and became a close friend.

He attended their home daily, did household chores and became heavily involved in their business, which specialised in making mats to fit round shower corners.

Following their deaths, and before D’Wit became a suspect, he told cops he was like an “adopted son” to the couple, who had two children together. Carol had two more from a previous relationship.

Carol was described in court as bubbly and out-going but her health deteriorated as she fell under D’Wit’s spell and her behaviour became “quite erratic.”

Det Supt Kirby said: “We now know this was because D’Wit was poisoning her for at least a couple of years.”

The detective said D’Wit was regarded as a popular and upstanding member of the community but had “fooled everyone he knew.”

He said: “He came across as amenable but all that time in the background he was planning the hideous deaths of Stephen and Carol.”

D’Wit falsely told Carol and Stephen he was receiving treatment for bone marrow cancer to win their sympathy – though no record of it was found.

A doorbell camera captured D’Wit visiting the couple at 10.20am on 7 April last year and at 4pm that day, when he poisoned them with fentanyl, 100 times more powerful than heroin.

Cached images of the couple slumped unconscious were found on his phone. Det Supt Kirby said: “He watched them die.”

Carol had a pacemaker which suggested she died between 11am and 2pm on April 8.

Unusually, D’Wit did not return to the address for another two days, when their bodies – hands blue and liquid coming from Carol’s mouth – were found by daughter Ellie.

D’Wit was called to the house by Ellie’s boyfriend and took over the 999 call to the operator, calmly saying: “They are dead. They are both just cold.”

He was also captured on police body worn video talking assuredly to an officer as Ellie sobbed in the background.

Det Supt Kirby said: “He would have enjoyed the drama and watching the scene he created.”

Police were initially baffled by the cause of their deaths, especially when carbon monoxide poisoning was ruled out.

A toxicology report found the pair had a potentially lethal amount of opioid painkiller fentanyl in their system.

In all my years in policing, Luke D’Wit is one of the most dangerous men I have come across

Det Supt Kirby

Carol was also found to have potentially fatal levels of promethazine – an antihistamine used in over-the-counter medication – in her blood.
The report suggested but did not conclusively show that the drugs were ingested orally.

One source said: “D’Wit used to give them health drinks and the most likely scenario is that he dipped the fentanyl patches into them.”

D’Wit was arrested on July 6 at his work address at the MS UK charity on Colchester University Campus after drawing suspicion by asking neighbours about cameras.

He had also faked a will from the couple – after creating the false persona of a solicitor – which gave control of their company Baxters’ Cazsplash to their “dear friend” D’Wit.

At his home, a Tesco bag for life was found which contained fentanyl patches matching four found at Stephen and Carol’s home.

Jewellery belonging to Carol was discovered along with 80 different phones, iPads, computers and other electrical devices.

One of them was an unregistered “dirty phone” in which D’Wit had created “multiple personalities.”

D’Wit attended the trial in a wheelchair though police say they are unaware of any illness he has suffered from since his arrest when he appeared fit and well.

During the trial, D’Wit claimed Stephen had directed the deception of Carol with fake personalities in a bid to make her feel better.
Det Supt Kirby said D’Wit would have gone on to kill again if he had not been caught.

He said: “Carol and Stephen Baxter’s deaths were cold and calculated acts of murder carried out by a dangerous man who clearly planned to get away with it.

“In all my years in policing, Luke D’Wit is one of the most dangerous men I have come across.”

‘SINISTER KILLER’

He went on: “I have absolutely no doubt that had he not been caught, he would have gone on to commit further murders.

“He would befriend people and purport to be an upstanding, helpful and kind member of the community.

“The reality is far more sinister. He is a cold, calculated murderer.
“D’Wit went to great lengths to cover up his tracks.

“He deceived everyone who knew him, who welcomed him into their family homes and who relied upon him for help, or at least what they believed was help.

“Those lies, and that deception, continued in the evidence he gave in court.

“Disgracefully, he based his defence on collusion between himself and Stephen Baxter.

“Stephen is tragically not here to defend himself but from everything we know about him, this could never have been the case.

“Thankfully, today the jury saw through his fantasies and gave guilty verdicts.”

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