Look inside killer dentist Colin Howell's luxury home where he confessed to notorious murders
Exclusive: €351k bargain comes with lake and paddock, but is where callous murderer confessed and near where he dumped victims' bodies
Published 26/08/2016 | 09:00
This is the first look inside killer Colin Howell's luxury home on Ulster's north coast, which has gone on the market at a knockdown price.
The house is where one of Northern Ireland's most notorious murderers was arrested by police after he admitted killing his first wife and the husband of his mistress Hazel Stewart.
Estate agents say they want offers of around £300,000 for the four bedroom house, which has its own lake and paddock and sits in the hills above scenic Castlerock.
The house is not far from where Howell dumped the bodies of his wife Lesley and Stewart's policeman husband Trevor Buchanan in 1991.
Bensons in Coleraine has told potential buyers that it is looking for an unconditional cash sale for the house "because it's coming from a bank".
An observer of the property market in the area said: "The house is probably worth nearer 400-grand, but they've tried to sell it before."
It was in January 2009, in the kitchen of the sprawling Glebe Road property which is set in seven acres of land, that the callous dentist confessed that he had murdered Lesley and Trevor 18 years earlier.
Howell's second wife Kyle Jorgensen, an American, had summoned elders from the Barn Christian Fellowship who used to meet in a converted garage at the house to hear his shocking admissions to gassing Lesley and Trevor and disguising their deaths as suicides.
After the stunned elders listened to his confession they called the police, who arrived at Glebe Road to arrest Howell, who later implicated Hazel Stewart in the killings for which she, like him, was jailed for life.
The house, which has four reception rooms, bathroom and two shower rooms is a special place for Howell, because after his beloved son Matthew died in an accident in Russia in 2007 he scattered his ashes on the lake at Glebe Road. It's believed there's a memorial to Matthew there too.
An advertisement in the property section of last night's Belfast Telegraph described the house as a "magnificent country residence which offers extensive family accommodation".
Bensons said the house is "on a private mature site and has outstanding sea views and overlooks the surrounding countryside".
It has oil fired central heating, uPVC double glazed windows and "generous electrical specification, is wired for sound and has UK and American power points throughout".
The ad said that the property is approached by a sweeping gravelled driveway with turning area and has "fully landscaped gardens to front, laid in lawn with feature rockery, bordered by a wide variety of mature heathers, trees and shrubs".
The estate agents said that at the back of the house there's a stream and a path leading to the large lake with its two islands and wooden jetty.
Another selling point listed by Bensons is a large paddock, which has been laid out in grass and is fully fenced.
The house is classed as "idyllic" with close proximity to local beaches and easy access to many nearby towns and villages including Castlerock, Coleraine, Limavady and Ballymoney, where Howell ran a successful dental business.
It was also there that Howell sexually assaulted a number of his female patients.
None of the proceeds from the sale of the house will go to Howell, whose assets have all been seized.
It's thought some of the money may go to compensate Howell's victims.
Kyle Jorgensen, who said Howell forced her to stay silent about the murders for 10 years and who had five children by the killer, has returned to live in the States with her family.
The Castlerock house was the focus of controversy earlier this year when a politician suggested that it could become a major tourist attraction.
The former DUP Mayor of Coleraine Sam Cole believe it would be a focal point for tourism, but denied he was promoting "murder tourism".
He was responding to a planning decision to reject an application from a constituent to build on land at Glebe Road, on the grounds that there was no "focal point" close by.
Mr Cole said: "I don't support murder tourism, but I am a pragmatist. In Belfast there are a lot of people who want to see where crimes were committed. People want to see this type of thing. It is human nature. They want to see macabre places."
A recent ITV drama about the murders called The Secret, which starred Jimmy Nesbitt as Howell, was a massive hit with viewers but caused controversy with the victims' families.
Labour MP Louise Haigh wrote to media watchdog Ofcom raising concerns that ITV had breached broadcast rules with the controversial drama.
Ms Haigh said the broadcaster's handling of the show was "unacceptable" and "deeply troubling" after family members of victims depicted in the crime drama complained they had not been given a chance to watch it before airing. ITV insisted that it had behaved responsibly.