Belfast Telegraph

Double murderer Hazel Stewart's 'dream country home' on sale for £300k

By Ivan Little and Cate McCurry

The 'dream home' partly owned by double killer Hazel Stewart has gone on the market for just under £300,000.

The stylish four-bedroomed detached house on the Ballystrone Road in Coleraine is being sold to settle a legal action over benefits that 54-year-old Stewart inherited from her murdered first husband.

Policeman Trevor Buchanan was killed by Stewart and her 58-year-old dentist lover Colin Howell, who also killed his wife Lesley, in May 1991 when Howell fooled the RUC into believing the deaths were the result of a joint suicide pact.

But after he confessed to the murders in 2009 Howell implicated Stewart in the killings and gave evidence against her at Coleraine Crown Court.

Stewart denied the charges but was convicted by a jury and she is serving a minimum 18 year sentence for killing the victims, who were found together in a fume-filled garage in Castlerock.

Howell was sentenced to 21 years.

The sale of the house is being handled by the Daniel Henry estate agents firm.

Dan Henry from the company said the house, which appeared on their website some weeks ago, has already generated a lot of interest.

"It's a good house in a good area, and we have had a lot of interest in it," he said.

"It ticks a lot of boxes for people, so I don't expect it will sit too long.

"It's only been on sale for a couple of months and went on the website a few weeks ago."

Mr Henry said the house was "very desirable".

He added: "With current planning it's difficult to get rural sites, so you are fortunate that it's not too far from Coleraine but yet in the countryside.

"We've had a lot of interest in it over the last few weeks, but once the weather picks up that will improve.

"It's a very desirable house and is a good size, so would suit a family or a variety of different people.

"It's a modern house and is built to all modern standards with a good quality finish inside. I can't see how anybody would have very much to do to it. Structurally, it ticks all the boxes."

The National Crime Agency issued High Court proceedings last year in an attempt to recover assets and police pension funds gained by Stewart following the death of Constable Buchanan.

Her second husband, David Stewart, was given nine months to sell the house before the agency can step in to complete the process.

The agency is entitled to two-thirds of the price fetched under terms agreed with the couple.

Mr Stewart, who is a retired police superintendent, claimed the outcome meant his wife's son and daughter, Andrew and Lisa, would lose their family home and have their rightful inheritance "seized by the State".

He told the court: "Not one penny will come from Trevor Buchanan to his children."

It was at the Ballystrone Road house that Hazel Stewart was arrested by PSNI officers who called at her home after Howell's confession. Stewart wasn't in at the time but the police waited 45 minutes for her to return after a dental appointment.

Sources said her long-held fears that her evil past would come back to haunt her surfaced as soon as she saw the PSNI officers and she slumped into a chair.

Friends said the house at Ballystrone Road had everything that Stewart had dreamt of in a home.

She and David Stewart built the house, and one acquaintance said: "Hazel had the best of furniture, the best of curtains, the best of everything. It was in an idyllic location just outside the town."

The house, which has three reception rooms, has been described as a "superb family home which is immaculately presented throughout with spacious well-proportioned accommodation".

The estate agent's listing adds: "This superb detached chalet bungalow constructed in 2006 is finished to an exceptionally high standard throughout and offers well laid out family accommodation."

Stewart has failed in a series of court actions to have her murder verdicts overturned.

Her children and her husband have supported her protestations of innocence.

The efforts to recover money from Stewart were brought under proceeds of crime legislation.

Mr Stewart was a joint respondent despite facing no allegations of any wrongdoing, with the NCA acknowledging he was "entirely blameless".

Colin Howell's luxury home at Castlerock was sold in 2016 to a Belfast academic who has turned it into an Airbnb rental accommodation.

Belfast Telegraph

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