Closing arguments in Stewart trial

Hazel Stewart leaving Coleraine Crown Court. Mrs Stewart did not take the stand at her murder trial. PICTURE MARK JAMIESON
Hazel Stewart leaving Coleraine Crown Court. Mrs Stewart did not take the stand at her murder trial. PICTURE MARK JAMIESON
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Prosecution and defence lawyers have been giving closing arguments in the trial of Hazel Stewart in Coleraine.

Mrs Stewart, 47, denies murdering her policeman husband, Trevor Buchanan, and the wife of her ex-lover, Colin Howell, in May 1991.

At today’s sitting, her lawyer, Paul Ramsey QC said she could not have been in a joint enterprise with Howell, who regarded her as weak, vulnerable and easy to control.

He said Stewart had been open and co-operative with police from the moment she was arrested. Instead of exercising her lawful right to remain silent she was “disarmingly frank and forthcoming and she confessed her role”.

However, prosecution lawyer Ciaran Murphy claimed Ms Stewart had agreed to a plan to carry out the two murders so she and Howell could continue their relationship.

The lawyer said she helped execute a plan to sacrifice the life of her husband and kill her then lover’s wife with carbon monoxide fumes.

The mother-of-two did not give evidence in her defence in the trial, now in its 13th day.