TRIAL: Stewart told: ‘You’re not here for shoplifting’

A SENIOR detective warned Hazel Stewart not to lie under questioning with the stark reminder: “You’re not in here for shoplifting.”

Pointing out apparent inconsistencies in her account of the murders of her husband Pc Trevor Buchanan and her lover’s wife Lesley Howell, Detective Sergeant Geoff Ferris acknowledged that she may feel tempted to shy away from telling the full truth.

But he added: “What I’m saying to you Hazel is it’s a serious matter, you’re not in here for stealing a cheque out of work.

“Or a burglary or a theft, a shoplifting case, you’re in here for the most serious of offences under the law in this country okay and it ain’t going to go away.”

Det Sergt Ferris said he was not calling her a liar but he felt she wasn’t telling the whole truth.

“The time has come when you can’t hide from the truth,” he said.

Clearly audible through the officer’s remarks is what sounds like his finger tapping the desk for emphasis.

The frank exchange was recorded on a police interview tapes played to Stewart’s double murder trial.

The detective was questioning Stewart’s initial claims under interview that she did not know that Colin Howell had murderous intentions when he rang in the middle of the night to say he was coming round.

She had told the detective she did not think anything was going to happen to her husband when Howell called, shortly after he killed his own wife.

“I just thought he was coming round to see me, that was all,” she claimed.

“I didn’t want those people dead, that’s not what I wanted.”