A MAN on trial for murder received more than £1,000 from the couple he is accused of killing in the year leading up to their death – including a £95 payment on the day he allegedly poisoned them with painkillers, a court has heard.

At Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, the prosecution continued to call expert witnesses forward as part of their case against Luke D’Wit, who is facing two charges of murder.

He is accused of killing Stephen and Carol Baxter at their home in Victory Road, Mersea. 

Samantha Claxton, an officer with Essex Police who examined Luke D’Wit’s bank statements, explained a number of transactions made between the defendant and the Baxters in the year leading up to their death.

Ms Claxton told the court how D’Wit, of Churchfields, West Mersea, had received a combined total of £1,500 from the Baxters between April 2022 and April 2023 which simply had the reference “food” on the transaction.

Gazette: Friend - Luke D'Wit had grown close to the BaxtersFriend - Luke D'Wit had grown close to the Baxters (Image: Essex Police)

On Good Friday, the day the Baxters were last seen alive, a payment of £95 was transferred from their bank account to D’Wit.

The court also heard how Cazsplash, the shower mat business owned and run by Carol Baxter, was suffering from severe financial losses as her health declined.

By April 2023, Cazsplash had debts of £62,000, with Ms Claxton agreeing with the defence’s assertion that the company was “failing” by this stage.

The business also owed £18,000 to Jane Blacklock, the owner of a warehouse from which Cazsplash bad been operating.

Earlier in the trial, the court had heard how D’Wit had told the Baxters he was receiving treatment for cancer and at one stage had required a bone marrow transplant, but the prosecution read a statement from an ESNEFT representative which suggested otherwise.

Gazette: Trial - Luke D'Wit's trial is expected to last at least two more weeksTrial - Luke D'Wit's trial is expected to last at least two more weeks (Image: Daniel Rees, Newsquest)

A statement provided by Eloise Brown, ESNEFT’s senior access to health officer, said there had been no record of him having attended the hospital in the last ten years.

The statement, read out by junior prosecuting barrister Alex Stein, read: “I have checked within the records, and these indicate no main hospital attendance either in-patient or out-patient for ten years.

“In August 2022 screened at the door for a shoulder injury whilst paddle boarding.”

D’Wit denies two counts of murder.

The trial continues.