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A tormented woman with a terrible secret

THE murders of Trevor Buchanan and Lesley Howell left Hazel Stewart a tormented woman hiding a terrible secret and whose arrest, she claimed, had ruined the lives of her family.

But she insisted time and time again to investigating police she had not agreed to any part of the murder plan.

It was, she said, devised by a dentist she once loved.

The jury also heard her admit that she feigned shock when told of her husband's death, and that afterwards she lied to detectives to protect herself.

Taped police interviews were broadcast to the packed courtroom. In one, she revealed how Howell first disclosed his intentions to get rid of her husband Trevor Buchanan and his wife Lesley.

Ms Stewart said Howell would never have left his wife. She told officers he told her: "You know, there is a way."

Police said: "Okay?"

Stewart told them: "And it would be to kill them."

Police asked: "To kill them?"

Stewart replied: "Yes. And at that point I couldn't speak. I was actually scared. . . I was just shocked. I was just too taken back by that. But I didn't mention it. I didn't even speak about it. I just ignored it. I was not going to discuss it at all. And that was okay. Time went on and I can't remember when it was mentioned again. . ."

She told police that Howell never told her how he would do it.

Irish Independent