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

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Double murder trial...Hazel Stewart, 47, leaves Coleraine court, where a jury was sworn in at the start of a trial where Stewart stands accused of murdering her policeman husband and her ex-lover's wife in Northern Ireland almost 20 years ago. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday February 7, 2011. Stewart denies killing Trevor Buchanan and Lesley Howell in nearby Castlerock in May 1991. Her former lover, dentist Colin Howell, 51, is currently serving a 21-year sentence after pleading guilty to the double murder last year. See PA story ULSTER Dentist. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire ...A

Double murder trial...Hazel Stewart, 47, leaves Coleraine court, where a jury was sworn in at the start of a trial where Stewart stands accused of murdering her policeman husband and her ex-lover's wife in Northern Ireland almost 20 years ago. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday February 7, 2011. Stewart denies killing Trevor Buchanan and Lesley Howell in nearby Castlerock in May 1991. Her former lover, dentist Colin Howell, 51, is currently serving a 21-year sentence after pleading guilty to the double murder last year. See PA story ULSTER Dentist. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire ...A

Double murder trial...Hazel Stewart, 47, leaves Coleraine court, where a jury was sworn in at the start of a trial where Stewart stands accused of murdering her policeman husband and her ex-lover's wife in Northern Ireland almost 20 years ago. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday February 7, 2011. Stewart denies killing Trevor Buchanan and Lesley Howell in nearby Castlerock in May 1991. Her former lover, dentist Colin Howell, 51, is currently serving a 21-year sentence after pleading guilty to the double murder last year. See PA story ULSTER Dentist. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire ...A

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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