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.


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.


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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660 crosses going up at an American Legion post near Howell

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — When U.S. Army veteran Jon Luker returned from serving in the Panama Canal Zone during the Vietnam War era he struggled with his mental health.

“I was just walking around confused and not motivated to get involved in anything, but I didn’t understand the source of my confusion, why I was tired all the time and why I couldn’t get sleep,” Luker told the Livingston Daily.

Luker, 69, said his own experience overcoming an existential crisis inspired him to take over coordinating a veterans suicide awareness project originally founded by the Veterans Refuge Network.

Hundreds of crosses have already been installed outside the American Legion post in Howell Township to bring awareness to veteran suicide.

Everyday this month at 10 a.m., veterans, groups and individuals visit the American Legion Devereaux Post 141 to place more crosses and sometimes share personal stories.

Each day 22 new crosses are installed. The number is based on a 2013 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study that estimates about 22 veterans committed suicide each day between 1999 and 2010.

A 2019 report from the VA estimates the average number of veteran suicide deaths per day equaled or exceeded 16 between 2005 and 2017.

Luker said it is difficult to know the real number of veterans who die from suicide each day. He said he suspects the deaths are under reported.

By the end of this month, there will be 660 crosses outside the American Legion, signifying 22 suicides a day for 30 days.

Luker said there are several reasons some veterans do not receive help, including stigma surrounding mental health.

“It’s a little hard on your ego to consider yourself as someone who cannot function, especially when you’ve been in the military and you are supposed to be able to do anything,” he said. He added that some veterans are afraid of losing jobs that require them to maintain security clearances.

“The VA is underfunded. … I think many veterans think, if I get this service, then someone else won’t who needs it more,” he said.

He also said he thinks the VA’s mental health services are subpar.

Brighton businessman John Conely said his uncle Bud Conely took his own life at the age of 40, around the time John was born in 1962. John and his aunt, Evelyn Conely-Montgomery, Bud’s sister, dedicated one of the crosses to him by writing his name on it.

“He was a POW from the Battle of the Bulge,” during WWII, John Conely said. Bud Conely returned to the U.S. weighing about 95 pounds. “He recovered and stayed in the army, working as a Nazi POW guard in Michigan and Ohio. He was quite a hero.”

“It’s closer to home than we know,” Conely said. “We as citizens are responsible for taking care of veterans and knowing what we can do to help them.”

Bobby Bright, the American Legion post’s finance officer who served in Iraq, said the problem is widespread.

“Everybody knows someone,” Bright

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