Howell assets must not leave NI – court

A PRIVATE final order was made last week in legal proceedings over the assets of killer dentist Colin Howell.

The agreement is believed to apply to his estranged American-based second wife and imposes restrictions on any assets being moved out of Northern Ireland.

Howell is serving a minimum 21-year jail sentence for murdering his first wife and his former lover’s husband.

Lesley Howell, 31, and Constable Trevor Buchanan, the 32-year-old husband of Hazel Stewart, were found together in a fume-filled car in Castlerock in May 1991.

The two victims had been gassed to death.

Police at the time believed the pair died in a suicide pact, but the case was reopened by detectives after they again questioned the dentist about the deaths.

Howell, 52, and formerly of Glebe Road, Castlerock, also pleaded guilty earlier this year to sexually assaulting five female patients.

In July he was declared bankrupt for owing more than £250,000 in taxes.

HM Revenue and Customs commissioners successfully petitioned for the declaration due to the possibility that his property may diminish in value.

He was assessed as having no reasonable prospect of being able to pay back the debt.

With his estate now under control the case was reviewed last Tuesday in front of Mr Justice Deeny at the High Court in Belfast.

A final order was made in the case on terms endorsed, which prevents full disclosure of the details.

However, it is believed to prevent Howell’s estranged second wife, Kyle, from removing assets.

Last December the self-confessed killer received a double life term for the two murders he carried out.

The judge who jailed him described his actions as “truly heinous crimes, constituting as they did the cold-blooded, carefully planned and ruthlessly executed double murder of two people who Howell saw as standing in the way of his adulterous desire to be with Hazel Buchanan”.

In March, Howell’s former lover, who became known as Hazel Stewart after remarrying, was found guilty of the two murders.

The 48-year-old mother-of-two, of Ballystrone Road, Macosquin, was told she would serve a minimum of 18 years in jail for her part in the killings.

She has lodged an appeal against her murder convictions, which were in part secured on the basis of Howell’s evidence.