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Luke D’Wit: Fentanyl killer who poisoned millionaire couple and faked will to steal company is jailed

An IT worker and double murderer who befriended a married couple before poisoning them with fentanyl has been jailed for life.

Luke D’Wit, 34, created a number of online personas to manipulate Stephen and Carol Baxter, and later changed their will to make him a director of their shower mat company.

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

Stephen and Carol Baxter were poisoned with powerful painkiller fentanyl (PA Media)
Stephen and Carol Baxter were poisoned with powerful painkiller fentanyl (PA Media)

In a 999 call, D’Wit could be heard calmly taking over the call and describing himself as a “friend” to the family before giving a false account.

Despite initially being treated as a witness, toxicology reports showed fentanyl in the couple’s system, with D’Wit proven to be the last person to see them alive. Following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, he was convicted of their murders and has now been jailed for a minimum term of 37 years.

Luke D’Wit, 34, has been jailed for life after being found guilty of their murders (Essex Police/ PA) (PA Media)
Luke D’Wit, 34, has been jailed for life after being found guilty of their murders (Essex Police/ PA) (PA Media)

An investigation found that he had created a number of fake personas to deceive the Baxter family, which included a doctor from Florida and members of a support group for the thyroid condition Hashimoto’s, which Mrs Baxter suffered from.

In a series of manipulative messages pretending to be Dr Andrea Bowden, he offered medical advice with “no clinical basis” such as encouraging Mrs Baxter to spend less time with her loved ones.

Describing them as “twisted, abominable actions”, their daughter recalled that he had helped Mrs Baxter send videos to Andrea, while she became gradually more confused and isolated.

He also pretended to be a theatre producer to earn the trust of their daughter, with D’Wit helping Miss Baxter film song recordings to send to ‘Jenny’.

In evidence, Miss Baxter told jurors that her parents believed D’Wit was “weird, but nerdy weird”.

D’Wit being interviewed by police after their deaths (Essex Police/PA Wire)
D’Wit being interviewed by police after their deaths (Essex Police/PA Wire)

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”.

Reading her victim impact statement,she described D’Wit as a “man so manipulative he hacked his way into our lives over a decade ago, schemed and thoroughly planned my parents’ demise”.

She said her parents had “looked after Luke”, adding: “They just decided he was lonely, especially after Luke’s dad died. They took him under their wing and would let him join in.”

It was discovered that he also installed a “mobile security surveillance application” on his phone, which allowed him to monitor a camera from the couple’s conservatory.

During the final moments of their lives, he watched on his phone as the Baxters first became incapacitated by the drugs, then died.

Ellie Baxter pictured leaving court after D’Wit was jailed for life (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
Ellie Baxter pictured leaving court after D’Wit was jailed for life (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Prosecutor Tracy Ayling KC said D’Wit was drugging Mrs Baxter prior to her death, causing her to appear as if she had dementia or a stroke, and that the pain he was inflicting on her was for his “own satisfaction”.

She said D’Wit had previously tried to harm Mrs Baxter by giving her a pill with a tack inside it, which had left her hospitalised.

When arrested at his workplace, his bag contained fentanyl patches, opened and unopened which he claimed were from the death of his father in 2021.

The sentencing judge, Mr Justice Nicholas Lavender, told Luke D’Wit: “It’s distinctly possible what motivated you was a desire to control others.”

The family of Stephen and Carol Baxter speaking to the media outside court (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
The family of Stephen and Carol Baxter speaking to the media outside court (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Wearing a patterned blue short-sleeved shirt, D’Wit appeared to show no reaction as he sat in a wheelchair in the secure dock.

The judge said he was sure that D’Wit “extracted the fentanyl from patches which had been originally prescribed for your father, who died in 2021”.

He said these were crushed into a powder and given to Stephen and Carol Baxter in a drink, which they took as they trusted D’Wit to prepare “supposed health drinks”.

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said outside court: “I have absolutely no doubt in my mind had he not been caught he would have gone on to kill further people.”