Killer dentist Colin Howell not to be charged with alleged sex offences against ex-lover Hazel Stewart

Killer dentist Colin Howell is not to be charged with any sexual offences against his ex-lover Hazel Stewart, it was revealed on Monday.

he Public Prosecution Service took the decision after reviewing claims that he sedated and subjected her to serious assaults.

It represents a blow for any attempt by 58-year-old Stewart to mount a fresh appeal over her own conviction for double murder.

Her lawyers confirmed they are seeking an immediate review of the decision.

The former Sunday School teacher is serving at least 18 behind bars for her role in killing her police officer husband and Howell’s wife.

The bodies of Lesley Howell, 31, and Constable Trevor Buchanan, 32, were found in a fume-filled garage in Castlerock, Co Derry in May 1991.

Police originally believed they had died in a suicide pact after discovering their partners were having an affair.

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Hazel Stewart is serving a minimum of 18 years for the double murder


Hazel Stewart is serving a minimum of 18 years for the double murder

Hazel Stewart is serving a minimum of 18 years for the double murder

Nearly two decades passed before Howell, 61, suddenly confessed to both murders.

He pleaded guilty in 2010 and was given a minimum 21-year sentence. He implicated Stewart in the plot and went on to give evidence against her at her trial.

Howell is also serving a separate sentence for sexually assaulting five female patients while they were under sedation at his dental surgery in Ballymoney, Co Antrim.

He committed those offences over a 10-year period from 1998 and 2008.

In April 2018 detectives questioned him about further alleged historical sexual assaults and sent a file to the PPS.

Stewart’s lawyers later confirmed she was the complainant and had waived her right to anonymity.

Since being convicted she has failed in a series of attempts to have the verdicts overturned.

If Howell had been charged and ultimately found guilty of sexually assaulting her, it could have opened up a potential new ground of appeal, based on claims that she was at all times under his control.

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Colin Howell did not attend his father’s funeral


Colin Howell did not attend his father’s funeral

Colin Howell did not attend his father’s funeral

Instead, however, a decision has been taken not to prosecute.

In a letter to Stewart’s legal representatives, the PPS said it has concluded there is insufficient evidence for a reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction.

Her solicitor, Kevin Winters, confirmed she is contesting the reasons for the no prosecution direction.

“Firstly, she rejects absolutely the suggestion made by Howell that she consented to sedation for the purposes of sexual activity,” he said.

“Secondly she asserts that at all times she has been consistent in her allegations made to police.”

Mr Winters added: “Our client is concerned that the decision not to prosecute may have been motivated to block any future application by her to challenge her double murder conviction.

“We have asked the PPS to review this decision immediately and expect to receive confirmation details on the Review process as soon as possible.”

In a statement the PPS confirmed

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Former Blue Bell Creameries CEO faces charges in connection with alleged listeria contamination coverup

A Texas grand jury charged Paul Kruse, Blue Bell Creameries’ former CEO and president, was charged with wire fraud and conspiracy in connection with an alleged cover-up of the company’s 2015 listeria outbreak, the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.



text, letter: OVERLAND PARK, KS - APRIL 21: Blue Bell Ice Cream is seen on shelves of an Overland Park grocery store prior to being removed on April 21, 2015 in Overland Park, Kansas. Blue Bell Creameries recalled all products following a Listeria contamination. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


© Jamie Squire/Getty Images
OVERLAND PARK, KS – APRIL 21: Blue Bell Ice Cream is seen on shelves of an Overland Park grocery store prior to being removed on April 21, 2015 in Overland Park, Kansas. Blue Bell Creameries recalled all products following a Listeria contamination. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Kruse, who served as the company’s CEO and president from 2004 to 2017, was charged with seven counts of wire fraud and conspiracy for an alleged scheme to cover up what the company knew about the listeria contamination in Blue Bell products, according to the Department of Justice.

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“We firmly believe the charges will be dismissed because they are untimely,” said Chris Flood, who represents Kruse. “We look forward to a jury hearing what really happened in 2015 and Blue Bell’s response to the unfortunate events.”

Blue Bell said it would be inappropriate for the company to comment on Kruse’s legal situation since he is no longer with the company.

According to the indictment, Kruse allegedly directed employees to remove potentially contaminated products from store freezers without notifying retailers or consumers of the real reason. Kruse instructed employees to tell customers who asked about the removed items that there was an “unspecified issue with a manufacturing machine,” the indictment alleges.

Blue Bell did not issue an immediate recall of the products nor did the company inform customers about the listeria contamination, according to the indictment.

“US consumers rely on food producers and suppliers to ensure the safety of the nation’s food supply.The charges announced today show that if an individual violates food safety rules or conceals relevant information, we will seek to hold them accountable,” said Judy McMeekin, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs at the Food and Drug Administration, in a news release.”We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who jeopardize public health.”

The ice cream was linked to 10 listeria cases in four states and resulted in three deaths in Kansas. In May, the company pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors for distributing adulterated food products and agreed to pay $19.3 million in fines for shipping contaminated ice cream during the 2015 listeria outbreak. The company shut down all its plants in 2015 cleanings and updates, according to the news release.

Listeriosis is a potentially fatal infection caused by the germ listeria, which is found in soil, water, raw milk and some animals like poultry and cattle. Unlike many other germs, it can grow in the cold temperature of a refrigerator or in a food processing plant.

– Shannon Liao contributed to this report

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Woman files $10M suit against dentist after alleged botched procedure

A clarinetist claims she could literally lose face after an allegedly botched procedure by a Manhattan dentist.

Boja Kragulj, who has performed in orchestras in Philadelphia and New York, claims in a $10 million lawsuit that her face could “prematurely age” because of “irreversible” bone loss from the work of Martha Cortes.

Facing the prospect of double jaw surgery after lifelong dental and breathing problems, Kragulj turned to Cortes in 2013 for an alternative. The dentist, who has an office on Central Park South, treated Kragulj unsuccessfully for years before placing a device called an Anterior Growth Guided Appliance, or AGGA, and controlled arch braces, in the musician’s mouth.

The AGGA was supposed to be a substitute for jaw surgery by stimulating new bone growth, helping to move Kragulj’s teeth and jaw forward and improve her airway. Instead, Kragulj claims in court papers, the device left her in worse shape than before.

AGGA is “unproven [and] not supported by medical knowledge or science,” according to the lawsuit.

Now Kragulj could lose four to six front teeth, and, over time “vertical dimension” — the space between her nose and chin — leading to the early aging of her face, she alleges.

Cortes should have known the AGGA wouldn’t work as advertised and failed to immediately repair it when part of it broke, according to Kragulj’s Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.

It’s unclear how the dental disaster impacted the musical career of Kragulj, who is suing Cortes along with others.

Cortes did not respond to a message.

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Cow-hugging, an alleged wellness fad, has people cuddling farm animals to relieve stress

In the increasingly hectic and stressful year of 2020, people are seeking calm wherever they can find it — from frolicking through the fields to adopting plants. But now there’s another natural way to restore your cortisol levels: cow-hugging.

People in several parts of the world have begun to embrace the alleged wellness trend, which reportedly originated in the Netherlands, where it is known as “koe knuffelen.”

According to the BBC, the practice of cuddling cows is supposed to reduce stress in humans by releasing the bonding hormone oxytocin.

Cows are chosen specifically for their warm body temperatures and calm demeanor, the outlet reported.

VIDEOS AND PHOTOS OF ‘CUTE’ ANIMALS CAN REDUCE STRESS, STUDY CLAIMS

“Cows are very relaxed animals, they don’t fight, they don’t get in trouble,” a farm owner who promotes the practice told BBC. “You come to the fields and we have some special hugging cows and you can lay next to [them] — people think it’s very relaxing.”

A 2007 study suggested that the practice, which is catching on in the U.S. and Switzerland, benefits the cows as well as the humans.

A 2007 study suggested that the practice, which is catching on in the U.S. and Switzerland, benefits the cows as well as the humans.
(iStock)

PET OWNER DRILLS HOLES IN FENCE SO 2 DOGS CAN SEE THROUGH

Farms in the United States and Switzerland have also adopted the wellness fad, which, according to a 2007 study in the Applied Animal Behavior Science journal, also benefits the cows.

The researchers found when the animals are rubbed, massaged or pet, they experience relaxation and pleasure as well.

“This suggests that cows may in part perceive human stroking of body regions often-licked similarly to social licking,” the researchers write in their study.

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Though, if you’re not near a farm, petting smaller domestic animals has also been shown to lower blood pressure in humans and provide relaxation effects.

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