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Killer dentist Colin Howell claims he almost confessed over 10 years ago

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Colin Howell

Colin Howell

Alan Lewis

Colin Howell

Colin Howell was within hours of owning up to police in 1998 about the murders of his wife Lesley and Trevor Buchanan, he claimed in court.

After first revealing his guilt |to his second wife Kyle, two years after they married, he |made arrangements to bring the two families together at a hotel, make his confession |and then hand himself over to the authorities.

But he told the jury at Coleraine Court yesterday that he underwent a “religious conviction” after meeting a girl at a Sunday night church service where he claimed she told him: “Colin, all your sins have been forgiven and forgotten by God”.

He married his second wife, a divorcee with two children, in May 1997. She had been through a difficult and abusive marriage in the United States before coming to live in Northern Ireland with her children.

Howell met her at a Bible study class. He had four children from his first marriage and the couple went on to have another five.

Howell said he wanted to tell Kyle about the deaths of his first wife and Mr Buchanan because he realised he had deceived her.

He said he explained to Kyle |the difficulties in his first marriage and the fact that Lesley Howell had abortions. He said she was shocked by his revelations and told him: “You have to go to |the police.”

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He told the court Kyle promised to stand by him, visit him in prison and look after the children until he got out.

He said he also took measures to sell his dental practice in Scotland and approached two |individuals. It was part of his plan to set up a financial base for his wife and children.

Kyle's parents were due to fly in from America in September that year and he decided he would call the two families together as well as his church elders.

He made a reservation at the Burrendale Hotel in Newcastle, Co Down, where he said he planned to make his confession before being arrested and going to jail.

Howell said he was to meet his mother and father that Saturday night, but he got a telephone call from his father telling him that he [his father] had agreed to stand in for a preacher the following night, and would be staying at home.

Howell said he went to his own church that Sunday and while he was there a girl spoke to him and said: “Colin, I just don't know why I am telling you this but your sins are forgiven and forgotten by God.”

Howell said he spoke with Kyle and talked about the disruption it would cause to the house if he confessed. They agreed it would be best if it was left in the past.

He told the court: “I felt hugely relieved. There was no |enforcement.”


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