Alleged fentanyl killer was ‘weird’ and visited couple’s home every day, daughter tells court

Ellie Baxter, 22, said her mum had become reliant on Luke D’Wit, 34, because of her poor health

George Lithgow
Monday 19 February 2024 14:10 GMT
Luke D’Wit speaking to police officers (Essex Police/PA)
Luke D’Wit speaking to police officers (Essex Police/PA) (PA Media)

A man accused of murdering a married couple by poisoning them with fentanyl was “weird” and would visit the home every day, their daughter has said.

Ellie Baxter, 22, said her mother had become reliant on Luke D’Wit, 34, because of her poor health, and was made to drink “gross” herbal remedies to help.

D’Wit is accused of murdering Stephen, 61, and Carol Baxter, 64, whom the court heard he had worked for and befriended, with the opioid painkiller, before rewriting their will.

Ms Baxter found her parents dead sitting in their armchairs in their conservatory on Easter Sunday – April 9 – last year, at home in Mersea Island, Essex, the court previously heard.

Giving evidence at Chelmsford Crown Court, she described how her parents “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 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.

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?”

D’Wit denies murdering the couple.

The trial continues.

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