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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

Hazel Stewart to appeal murder conviction

Former schoolteacher applies to appeal her recent conviction for murdering her husband and her former lover’s wife in 1991.

File photo dated 2 March 2011 of Hazel Stewart.
File photo dated 2 March 2011 of Hazel Stewart.
Image: Paul Faith/PA Wire

LAWYERS FOR HAZEL STEWART have submitted an application to appeal her recent double murder conviction.

Stewart, 48, was sentenced to serve a minimum of 18 years for the murder of her husband Trevor Buchanan and her former lover’s wife Lesley Howell in May 1991.

The appeal process is unlikely to be heard before Christmas, the PA reports.

Her co-accused, former lover Colin Howell, sparked a police investigation into what they had thought was a suicide pact when he admitted his involvement in their deaths eighteen years later.

He pleaded guilty to the murders late last year and is serving a 21-year-minimum sentence.

He admitted gassing his wife on the same day they had celebrated their young son’s birthday, before going to Buchanan’s home and gassing him as he slept. He then staged a suicide scene by placing both bodies in a car and filling it with fumes.

Howell said Stewart had known of his plan to carry out the murders and had no moral objection to it. She claimed she was bullied by Howell and feared for her own safety after hearing of his intention to kill.

Stewart’s children have said they do not accept she is guilty and insist they will stand by her. Her son Andrew, who was seven when his father was killed, told a BBC programme:

We would not have wanted what happened to our Dad ever to happen. But we lost our dad and this nearly feels like we are going to lose our mum.

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