Accused dentist admits sex attacks
Published 04/10/2010 | 15:01
A dentist accused of murdering his wife and his ex-lover's husband has pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting three women patients at his surgery.
Colin Howell, 51, admitted the charges when he appeared before Judge David Smyth QC at Antrim Crown Court.
But he denied accusations of indecently assaulting three other women at his dental implant clinic in Ballymoney, Co Antrim.
Howell, of Glebe Road, Castlerock, Co Derry, and his ex-lover Hazel Stewart, 47, of Ballystrone Road, Coleraine, Co Derry, are due to stand trial next month charged with the murders of their respective partners, who were found dead in a car filled with exhaust fumes in May 1991.
Father-of-10 Howell admitted assaulting the three patients on various dates between July and December 2008, just weeks before he was arrested by officers investigating the deaths of his wife Lesley, 31, and Mrs Stewart's first husband, police officer Trevor Buchanan, 32.
At the time their bodies were found in a car parked in a garage behind the home of Mrs Howell's late father, detectives believed they had died as a result of a suicide pact.
But after questioning Howell and his former lover in January last year, they launched a murder investigation.