COLIN howell yesterday (Thursday) described himself as a past monster who had murdered his wife and lover’s husband, but said he had since reformed as a person.
In dramatic testimony at his mistress’s trial, the disgraced dentist insisted at Coleraine Crown Court that he plotted the deaths of Lesley howell and Trevor Buchanan with
Hazel Stewart, who now stands accused of the murders.
But her defence lawyer told the hearing that howell acted on impulse and has since peddled the lie it was a bloody pact struck so he and Stewart could be together.
On howell’s last day of four testifying against the mother-of-two in her double murder trial, Paul ramsey QC challenged the one time lay preacher, who he claimed was motivated to give evidence to feed his own ego and in the hope the courts would look favourably on him.
“You have lied about what the accused did and you have elevated what she did to one of joint enterprise and as an accomplice to you,” he said.
In the last line of this marathon 12-hour cross-examination, the lawyer declared: “I put it to you that you are a monster Mr Howell.”
The father of 11, who two years ago admitted to the May 1991 murders, which were at the time believed to be suicides, ended his time in the witness box as he began it, with a profession of repentance.
“I was a monster and I was a killer but I’m not any longer and that’s part of my confession,” he said calmly.
Howell has claimed that Stewart, 47, from Ballystrone Road, Coleraine, was a willing participant in a murderous plot to rid them of their spouses — charges she denies.
Wearing a plum coat, she occasionally glanced at her former lover from the dock as his testimony against her approached 17 hours.
During his last day on the stand he insisted he only told detectives he killed on impulse in an effort to trick psychiatrists so he could get off on lesser manslaughter charges.
It also emerged that during his mental breakdown in prison months after his confession, he was convinced he was either “Noah or Moses” and feared being attacked with spears and swords by warriors like the “Romans, Spartan and Aztecs”.
Yesterday he also shocked the court by revealing that only on Wednesday night of this week he remembered a second face to face meeting with Stewart to discuss the killings in the days beforehand — he originally claimed there had been only one.
For full coverage see Tuesday’s Coleraine Times