Dentist had a fling

COLIN Howell had another affair behind his wife Lesley’s back before he embarked on his torrid relationship with Hazel Stewart, he told his former mistress’s trial.

The convicted double murderer told Coleraine Crown Court he had a fling with another woman a year prior to that.

“Hazel wasn’t the only woman you had an affair with?” Stewart’s barrister Paul Ramsey QC challenged him.

Howell admitted that was the case and that he had an extra-marital relationship with a woman he worked with at Queen’s University, Belfast. While his infidelity with Stewart was discovered by their respective spouses, the dentist said Lesley never found out about the woman before her.

“No, she never knew about that,” he said.

Last Tuesday Howell revealed that he had a clandestine sexual relationship with a member of staff at his dental practice 14 years after the murders while he was married to his second wife Kyle.

Howell said he was tempted by other women during his eight-year marriage to Lesley.

“I noticed short skirts and all of the other things most men do,” he said, insisting that at first he remained loyal.

“I would have used self discipline for a number of years despite my temptation.”

The dentist said the deterioration of his relationship with Lesley got to the point when he “gave up” on the marriage.

Earlier in his testimony Howell told the court he started “looking around” for other women and, in an interview with a prison psychiatrist after his arrest in 2009, claimed he was “ripe for the picking”.

But he insisted Lesley was never adulterous. “Right to the end she was committed to making the marriage work, but I wasn’t,” he said.