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‘Vast amounts’ of evidence in dentist double murder probe

Huge amounts of evidence linked to the investigation of a dentist accused of murdering his wife and his ex-lover's husband has been handed over to the Public Prosecution Service, a court has heard.

They include police transcripts of interviews with Dr Colin Howell (50), charged with the double murder more than 18 years ago, North Antrim Magistrates Court was told.

Howell's lawyer Adrian Harvey also disclosed that material relating to his client had also been handed over to the firm of solicitors acting for Howell's former lover Hazel Stewart (46) who is also accused of the two murders.

Mr Harvey told yesterday's court hearing in Coleraine, Co Londonderry: “There is a vast amount of evidence in this case.”

Howell from Glebe Road, Castlerock, Co Antrim, has been in custody since his arrest last January when police launched a murder investigation into the deaths of his wife Lesley and Constable Trevor Buchanan — at the time Hazel Stewart's husband — whose bodies were found in a car filled with carbon monoxide fumes, the apparent victims of a suicide pact.

The car had been parked in a garage at the rear of a row of houses in Castlerock, one of which was owned by Lesley's father Harry Clarke, who died suddenly in Howell's home just days earlier. It's understood Howell was questioned about his death as well.

Stewart, a mother of two, from Ballystrone Road, Coleraine, who later re-married, has been out on bail since her arrest, and made a brief appearance at today's court.

Earlier, Howell appeared via video link from Maghaberry. He also re-married, but his American-born wife Kyle has left the couple's home with their 10 children and returned to the United States from where she has initiated divorce proceedings.

Neither Howell or Buchanan spoke during yesterday's hearing and both are due back in front of the district judge again on November 16.

Belfast Telegraph


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