Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Murder charge dentist faces sex inquiry

A dentist accused of murdering his wife and a police officer is to be questioned about indecent assaults and other sex offences, a court heard today.

Detective Inspector Ian Magee, who is heading up the double murder inquiry, revealed that Dr Colin Howell, 50, would be interviewed about other offences.

Howell, a father-of-10, from Sea Road, Castlerock, County Londonderry, is in custody charged with the murders of his wife Lesley, 30, and Constable Trevor Buchanan, 32, whose bodies were found in a fume-filled car in the seaside town in May 1991.

At first police believed the couple died in an apparent suicide pact, but reopened the investigation when they arrested Howell and Pc Buchanan's wife Hazel Stewart, 45. She has also been accused of murdering her husband and Mrs Howell.

At North Antrim Magistrates' Court in Coleraine today, Stewart was allowed continuing bail of £15,000.

But Howell, who ran a dental surgery in Ballymoney, County Antrim, is to face three more days of questioning, the court heard.

Mr Magee told District Judge Richard Wilson: "He is to be questioned about two indecent assaults, a number of other sexual offences and other offences he says he wants to talk about."

Howell did not speak during today's brief hearing and was remanded in custody and is due to appear at a court in Ballymena, County Antrim, on Thursday.

Stewart stood with her new husband, former chief superintendent David Stewart, when she appeared in court today and left shielded by him and court staff.

Members of Pc Buchanan's family - he was an RUC scenes of crime officer at the time of his death - also attended today's hearing.

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