Belfast Telegraph

Judges to examine appeal bid by double killer Hazel Stewart

By Alan Erwin

Senior judges are to examine if convicted double killer Hazel Stewart formally abandoned her first bid to overturn a conviction for murdering her husband.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan ordered transcripts from a previous appeal hearing in a bid to establish the exact circumstances in which the challenge to that guilty verdict was halted.

Stewart (51) is serving a minimum 18-year sentence for the 1991 killings of Trevor Buchanan (32) and 31-year-old Lesley Howell, the wife of her ex-lover Colin Howell who is also behind bars.

In January 2013 the Court of Appeal rejected her first challenge to being convicted of Lesley's murder. At the start of that hearing it was announced that she would not be proceeding with the appeal against being found guilty of killing Constable Buchanan.

Stewart claims, however, this was only done on the understanding that she could resurrect her case at a later stage.

In an attempt to resolve the issue, Sir Declan asked for a written record to be ready in a fortnight's time. The case was listed for a further review in November.

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