TRIAL: Stewart admitted getting rid of evidence

THE jury heard double murder accused, Hazel Stewart admitting that she burnt the hose pipe that Howell used to murder her husband.

Through recorded police interviews played to the jury last Wednesday, the jury of nine men and three women heard the mother of two telling police that she had to light the fire in her Coleraine home to burn the hosepipe, which had been connected to Howell’s car exhaust.

During the recording, Detective Sergeant Geoff Ferris tells Stewart that Howell had told police, in an interview room next door, that he forced the hose into Trevor’s mouth.

Going through the events of the night of her husband’s murder, Ferris asks Stewart: “The next time you see him is in the hallway in his boxer shorts...then you provided Colin with clothes? “ Stewart said ‘Yes’ that was correct.

After more questions the Detective asks, then what happened?

Stewart recalls: “I had to cut the pipe. I didn’t know I had to do this. I hadn’t the fire on. I had to start a fire.”

Stewart goes on to tell the officers that she didn’t know where Howell was taking the bodies, but says that she opened the window in the bedroom her husband has been murdered in to get rid of the fumes. She said she changed the bed linen on the bed Trevor had been sleeping in.

You got rid of the evidence says DS Ferris.

She replies: “I never thought of it like that.”

DS Ferris asks: “The hosepipe is central to the evidence. You destroyed it by burning it?

“Yes” replies Stewart.

“You sorted the room out? “Yes” replies Stewart

Stewart revealed through the police interviews that she had been told by someone else that the bodies of her husband and Lesley Howell had been found at the Apostles Cottages in Castlerock.

However, she revealed that whilst she did not know where the cottages where at the time, she had gone to Castlerock to see where they were at a few years ago.

The court heard Det Sergt Ferris described the murders as calculating.

He told Stewart: “It was all very calculated. It was vicious in relation to what you both did. You had no regard for your partners or their families or your own children.

“You made that decision, that you could live with your two children and you agreed with a plan that their father would be murdered in the house they lay sleeping in. It can’t get any colder that than Hazel.”

Stewart replied “No, No”

“Those children have grown up and accepted what you’ve told them.

“There is no one else to blame but you and Colin Howell, do you agree?” Stewart replied: “Yes”.