Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Killer dentist Colin Howell’s letter to lover sent on day of wife’s funeral

‘We can walk together proud of each other’

Colin Howell

Killer dentist Colin Howell asked a fellow church member to forward a love letter to Hazel Stewart on the day of his wife’s |funeral, a court has heard.

In the letter Howell said he had taken a mother from her children, but that he believed “God will provide for them”.

He also pleaded with Stewart to continue the relationship after they both had time to grieve over the deaths of their partners.

Stewart (47) denies murdering her husband Trevor Buchanan and Howell’s wife Lesley in May 1991. Their bodies were found in a fume-filled car in Castlerock in an apparent suicide pact.

Her former lover Howell (51) has already pleaded guilty to the charges and was jailed for 21 years.

At Coleraine Crown Court yesterday, Derek McAuley, an acquaintance of Howell’s and fellow member of Coleraine Baptist Church, said that on the day of the funerals the dentist gave him a letter in a sealed envelope and asked him to deliver it to Stewart.

Mr McAuley said before the letter was passed to Stewart, he steamed the envelope open, photocopied its contents and showed it to to John Hansford, the pastor at Coleraine Baptist Church.

In the six-page letter, read to the court, Howell asked Stewart if it is true that she believes it is best that they never get together again.

“If it is true, ring me and say it’s true. Don’t allow me to have hope if there is none, you will kill me,” he wrote.

“I plead with you, if with your mind you’re saying no and you must destroy our future, I will not try to change your mind no matter how lonely I get.

“The pastor told me he will do everything in his power to stop us getting together.

“He is a very clever man and capable of convincing you our marriage would be a disaster.”

Howell then |mentioned Stewart’s two children, Lisa and Andrew.

“I heard Lisa twice say she did not like me,” he added.

“That is hard. Trevor is gone so when I come back on the scene in a year’s time she will be in need of a father figure and the threat I used to be will be replaced by need.

“I will talk to them about Trevor.

“I will allow Andrew to cut the grass and do the manly things his father did.

“They will be so loved by me that the difficulties, which there will be, will be overcome and sorted out.”

He added that they both must take time to grieve for their dead partners as he thinks they had “underestimated this response in our hearts”.

“During this time we must not see or talk to each other,” he wrote.

“When we miss each other we must look at their things and photographs and concentrate on our grief. I miss Lesley and am sorry for all the sins I have done to her. I must grieve for that.

“Once it is gone we can give ourselves to each other.”

Howell said that if enough time passed and her family saw how much he cared for her and loved her, then they will accept them both.

“I will wait for you if you are convinced that this is correct,” he said.

Howell added: “You will lose many friends but we can walk down the street together proud of each other. We won’t lose all our friends if we take our time. I have taken a mother from her children.

“But God will provide for them.

“I hope and pray it will be you. Love Colin.”

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