Belfast Telegraph

Hazel Stewart: The daily monotony of life for prisoner F295

By Victoria O'Hara

Since her conviction, Hazel Stewart has woken up every day in Hydebank Womens' Prison.

And it is in this jail that she will continue to wake up incarcerated for the next 18 years of her life after being found guilty of the 1991 killings of her spouse and former lover’s wife.

The glamorous, blonde, well-dressed mother of two was more accustomed to living in a luxury house near Coleraine.

Now the ex-lover of killer dentist Colin Howell will call Ash House, inside the Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre, home until she is 66 years old.

Dubbed Northern Ireland’s ‘femme fatale’ she will have swapped her middle class lifestyle for one with few privileges as prisoner number F295.

Opened in 2004, Ash House has a capacity for at least 56 prisoners but usually houses under 50 women in surroundings which include in-cell sanitation and shower facilities.

A typical day will begin at 7.15am when the cells are unlocked and is followed by breakfast and then cleaning duties.

The daily monotony of routine can be broken with prisoners going to education classes to study Open University courses or to the gym.

During the day at various times, prisoners will find themselves locked in their cells again.

The final lock-down comes at 7pm when they are confined to their cells until the morning.

Prison sources said while waiting to be sentenced, the 48-year-old was a “wreckage” and remained in her cell for most of the time.

But reports have indicated the once well-heeled fitness fanatic has been availing of the keep-fit classes on offer in prison.

Also in Hydebank with the Coleraine convicted killer are a number of other notorious women who received life terms for murder.

Among them is Jacqueline Crymble who was jailed for 20 years for murdering her husband Paul on Father's Day 2004.

Crymble masterminded the murder so she could set up a new life with her lover Roger Ferguson.

Paul Crymble was beaten by Ferguson before his wife suffocated him with a binliner.

Belfast Telegraph

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