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IT worker found guilty of murdering couple with fentanyl

A UK based IT worker has been found guilty of the murder of a married couple who he poisoned with fentanyl before changing their will to make him a director of their shower mat company.

Luke D’Wit, 34, who befriended and worked for Stephen and Carol Baxter, created a series of fake online personas to manipulate them before he killed them.

These included a doctor from Florida and members of a fake support group for the thyroid condition Hashimoto’s, which Mrs Baxter suffered from.

Mrs Baxter, 64, and her 61-year-old husband were found dead at their home in West Mersea in Essex by their daughter Ellie on Easter Sunday last year.

D’Wit, of West Mersea, arrived soon after and described himself as a “friend” to a 999 call handler, before calmly giving a false account.

Prosecutors said he created a fake will on his phone the day after the Baxters were found dead, making him a director of their shower mat company Cazsplash.

Another fake persona – a solicitor – was used in connection with the new will, prosecutors said.

Tracy Ayling KC said in her prosecution closing speech that D’Wit murdered Mr and Mrs Baxter “calmly, coolly and in a way which had been entirely planned, maybe for some while”.

“My mum lost her freedom, her will, her ability to function two years prior to her murder due to her illness. An illness no-one could help with or understand because it was contrived by Luke D’Wit.”

D’Wit was found guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court of murdering the couple following a trial lasting more than a month.

The Baxters’ daughter Ellie said in evidence that her parents believed D’Wit was “weird, but nerdy weird”.

She said he had initially been brought into their shower mat business in about 2012 or 2013 to “help build the website” before eventually coming round to their house “every day”.

Ms Baxter said in a statement released through Essex Police: “My mum and dad are dead. But they didn’t just die. They were taken from me and my young children”.

“My mum lost her freedom, her will, her ability to function two years prior to her murder due to her illness. An illness no-one could help with or understand because it was contrived by Luke D’Wit.”

“Mum felt so alone and lost, and there was nothing I could do other then give her my shoulder to cry on and cuddle her.”

Luke D’Wit poisoned Stephen and Carol Baxter with fentanyl PA

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said in an interview outside court that D’Wit was “without doubt one of the most dangerous men I’ve ever experienced in my policing career”.

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

Mr Kirby said that “justice has been served today”, adding that D’Wit “rightly belongs behind bars”.
The defendant “fooled everyone”, he added.

“He befriended people, came across as a very amenable, helpful person but in the background he was a cool, calculated killer who spent years planning the demise of Carol and Stephen Baxter,” he said

Mr Kirby described D’Wit as a “loner” who “spent hours of his time creating false personas, all there to create control over the Baxters”.

Ellie Baxter found her parents dead in their home PA

Asked about a possible motive, Mr Kirby said it was “unclear what was going on in D’Wit’s mind”.

“Certainly he stood to benefit financially from the death of the Baxters and we believe that certainly this played part of the role in his motive,” he said.

He continued: “D’Wit’s downfall was the arrogance that existed within him.

“He didn’t cover his tracks properly and he was deluded in thinking that he could use fentanyl to kill two people and that wouldn’t be found to be suspicious.”

D’Wit was arrested at his workplace and his bag contained fentanyl patches, opened and unopened.
Prosecutors questioned his claim that he was taking these back to a pharmacy following the death of his father in 2021.

He denied murdering Mr and Mrs Baxter and claimed in court that he created fake identities on the instructions of Mr Baxter and to give Mrs Baxter “someone to talk to and air all her grievances to”.

The son of Carol and Stephen Baxter said D’Wit played “foul games torturing and drugging” his mother in the lead-up to his parents’ deaths.

Harry Baxter said in a statement released through Essex Police that his father “sacrificed his life for us to live on, and when the days came where he could finally take time and retire and have time to teach me, a young man, naive and keen at the beginning of his adult life, it was stolen away by someone we all trusted the most”.


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