Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Hazel kept quiet about murders for 20 years, but won't shut up now

Hazel Stewart
Hazel Stewart

For a woman whose defence was that she was easily cowed, double murderess Hazel Stewart certainly seems to have a neck of purest brass.

Despite being found guilty of the murders of her husband Trevor Buchanan and her lover Colin Howell's wife, Lesley, and losing an appeal over Lesley's death – rejected after just five minutes' deliberation – Stewart continues to try and wriggle out of serving her minimum 18-year jail sentence. Now she has appointed a new legal team who are referring her conviction for the murder of Lesley Howell to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which reviews possible miscarriages of justice.

She is also making separate efforts to appeal her conviction for murdering her policeman husband. Her lawyers say they will present new psychological and psychiatric evidence.

Talking of which, one can only imagine the mental anguish of families of Trevor and Lesley at the prospect of the case once again going to court, hearing the evidence re-hashed and listening once more to Stewart's sickeningly self-serving accounts.

Yes, Stewart may be legally entitled to exhaust every avenue but we should never forget that she and Howell aren't the only ones serving a life sentence for the dark deeds that unfolded that dreadful night on the north coast in May 1991.

So are the Buchanans. So are Lesley's family. For nearly 20 years Hazel Stewart kept her mouth shut.

Ironically, since her murderous activities have been brought to light, it seems there's no end to what Hazel Stewart has to say in her never-ending bid for freedom.

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