TRIAL: Bitter regrets for a mother taken away from us

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LAUREN Howell - the little girl who grew up without her mum and later learned that her father was the killer - faced the media as an adult.

Now a married woman she had watched the woman who helped in those murders, Hazel Stewart, be taken away to face life imprisonment.

She was flanked by her husband and her uncle Chris Clare, Lesley Howell’s brother.

The statement was issued on behalf of Lauren, Dan and Jonny Howell and Chris Clarke.

“This statement has been largely written by Lesley’s son Dan - who cannot be here today. We hope that our words reflect the feelings of Lesley’s eldest son Matthew who loved her dearly,” said Mr Clarke.

Lauren then continued: “As a family we are comforted that those involved in Lesley and Trevor’s murders have been finally been brought to justice.

“We mourn our mother Lesley and are pained at the time and the memories that we have been so denied.

“We rejoice in the contribution our mum made to our lives in the short time we had together.

“We know her to have been a loving, devoted mother and we bitterly regret the horrible way in which she has been taken from us.

“Our thoughts, at this time, are also with the Buchanan family, who share our loss.”