Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Killer dentist Colin Howell bankrupt over his tax bill

Colin Howell

Killer dentist Colin Howell was declared bankrupt yesterday for owing more than £250,000 in taxes.

A High Court order was made against Howell, who is serving a minimum 21-year jail sentence for murdering his wife and his former lover's husband, following a petition by HM Revenue and Customs Commissioners.

Legal papers seeking his bankruptcy had stated: "There is a serious possibility that the debtor's property and/or the value of any of his property will be diminished."

The commissioners also claimed the 52-year-old had no reasonable prospect of being able to pay an aggregate debt of £252,472.55.

Confirmation of his financial plight comes two months after he was back in court to plead guilty to sexually assaulting five female patients. Howell, formerly of Glebe Road, Castlerock, carried out the attacks over a 10-year period between 1998 and 2008.

Last December the self-confessed killer received a double life term for the murders of his wife Lesley (31) and Constable Trevor Buchanan, the 32-year-old husband of his ex-lover Hazel Stewart.

The victims were found together in a fume-filled car in Castlerock in May 1991. They had been gassed to death.

Police at the time believed the pair died in a suicide pact, but the case was reopened by detectives after they again questioned the dentist about the deaths.

The judge who jailed Howell described the double murders as "truly heinous crimes, constituting as they did the cold-blooded, carefully-planned and ruthlessly executed double murder of two people who Howell saw as standing in the way of his adulterous desire to be with Hazel Buchanan".

In March Howell's former lover, who became known as Hazel Stewart after remarrying, was also found guilty of the two murders.

The 48-year-old mother of two, of Ballystrone Road, Macosquin, was told she would serve a minimum of 18 years for her part in the killings. She has lodged an appeal against her murder convictions, which were in part secured on the basis of Howell's evidence.

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