COLIN Howell made a grovelling apology to “many, many people” for destroying their lives following the murder of his wife Lesley and police constable Trevor Buchanan.
During a police interview on the evening of January 31, the dentist told Detective Constables Alan Devine and Anne Henry from the Major Incident Team at Maydown Police Station in Londonderry, that he deeply regretted the pain he had caused.
The 51-year-old dentist had been arrested two days earlier at his Glebe Road home in Castlerock after confessing to the murders to his second wife Kyle and elders of the church.
At the end of two interviews that evening, Howell, who was accompanied by his solicitor, Adrian Harvey, told the two detectives: “This is a shocking account of what I did, something I deeply regret, it’s clear that at the time I didn’t regret it and when asked why I did come in, why I am sitting here...I want to acknowledge the many many people that I have deeply hurt and whose lives I’ve destroyed.
“A list of people is limited because it’s, it’s bigger than the list but obviously the key people would be first of all the Buchanan family and the children of Trevor, Andrew and Lisa.
“I want to say sorry to Trevor’s parents and his brothers and sisters...and also sorry to the Clarke family, Chris the brother.
“It may be a small step in restoring their honour and dignity when they were shamed at the cover up that I did make it appear that it was suicide.
“To Kyle, my wife, who is carrying the burden of my children alone without any financial support from me and has lost a husband and gained a mystery as to what she married.
“To all my children I am sorry, to Matthew, Lauren, Daniel, Dylan, Katie, Johnny, Eric, Jordan, Jensen, Finn.”
Earlier in the interview the 51-year-old admitted “bringing shame” on Coleraine Baptist Church, of which he was a member.
When his affair with Hazel Stewart had been discovered Pastor John Hansford and the elders had initiated marriage counselling in attempt to save both marriages.
Howell went on to apologise: “To the two churches who I have deceived, Coleraine Baptist Church and the Barn Fellowship, to my dental colleagues who are affected by this, my many personal friends who, too many to count and to list who’ve supported my initial recovery from the original incident and who now are revisiting it with a, with a worse pain.
“There are monumental consquences to this confession and sorry is a shallow word but I say it deep from my heart and some day if it’s possible, to be forgiven.
“I would ask that I could be forgiven. I am so sorry. It’s so profound, yes. I just wish to say that I pray that the consequences of this confession will be bearable to the people I’ve said sorry to and my justice in the law will be deserved, thank you, finished.”