Killer Dentist 'Used Gas To Sedate Lovers'

A high profile murder trial in the North has heard that the accused, Hazel Stewart, feared her former lover - a dentist - gave her too much laughing gas before a sex session on his dentist's chair.

Mrs Stewart, 47, is denying murdering her husband, Trevor Buchanan, 32, and her former lover Colin Howell's wife, Leslie, 31, in May 1991.

Yesterday, in police tapes played at her Coleraine trial, she said she could remember Colin Howell, 51, (pictured) trying to have sex with her while she was under sedation.

Howell has already told Coleraine Crown Court that he administered drugs through a facemask at his surgery, and once by needle at her home, prior to intercourse with Mrs Stewart.

He said this was because she 'struggled with guilt' after the deaths of his wife and her husband.

Trevor Buchanan and Leslie Howell were originally thought to have died in a suicide pact but detectives reopened the inquiry 18 years after the deaths, when Howell stunned his church elders by confessing to murdering the pair.

Howell then claimed that Hazel Stewart was part of the plan, which they had covered up and then kept secret since the time of the murders in May 1991.

He is serving a 21-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to the two murders at Belfast Crown Court last November.

Mrs Stewart said she had initially agreed to being drugged - she said it helped deal with her guilt - but said she became more uneasy with it as it continued.

She said Howell kept asking her did she remember anything. Mrs Stewart said the incident in his practice when she "went crazy" was the last time she and Howell experimented with sedatives.

A police detective had asked Mrs Stewart was she aware of him using the technique on his patients and she admitted that she wondered why he asked, 'What do you remember?' discovering later that the former dentist separately admitted three counts of indecently assaulting his own patients under sedative at his practice.

Earlier, Mrs Stewart said in court that she did not know her lover's wife's body was in his car on the night of the double killings.

In a tape of her sixth police interview, she said: "I did not think anything was going to happen to Trevor. "I did not know Leslie's body was going to be in the car."

However, Coleraine Court also heard that a police officer that conducted the interview said Mrs Stewart 'did know' her former lover was coming to her house on the night of the murders.


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