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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019

Double murder trial hears accused feared for her life

The trial of Coleraine woman Hazel Stewart, 47, has heard she was afraid convicted murderer Colin Howell would harm her if she went against his plan to kill her husband and Howell’s wife.

Hazel Stewart leaving court in Coleraine last week.
Hazel Stewart leaving court in Coleraine last week.
Image: Paul Faith/PA Wire

THE TRIAL OF A WOMAN accused of murdering her husband and her former lover’s wife has heard she told police she would rather die than be arrested.

Hazel Stewart, 47, of Ballystone Road, Coleraine, denies murdering her husband Trevor Buchan and Lesley Howell in 1991.

A tape of an interview police conducted with Stewart after she was arrested in January 2009 was played yesterday to the court.

The Irish News reports that Stewart has admitted knowing of Colin Howell’s plan to murder their spouses, but she told police it was his idea and she was afraid Howell would kill her if she did not go along with the plan.

She claimed she was vulnerable and Howell had “full control over me”. Stewart described her former lover Howell as “devious” and very controlling.

The court heard she told police she wished she was dead when arrested, rather than “go through this for the sake of my children”.

Howell has been sentenced to 21 years minimum for the two murders. He told her trial that Stewart had gone along with the murders willingly and that “all the side-stepping was done together”.

Read the story in full in today’s print edition of the Irish News >

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