Appeal against conviction for murders to be heard in January


The bid by former Sunday school teacher Hazel Stewart to overturn her conviction for murdering her husband and ex-lover’s wife 21 years ago will be heard in January.

Senior judges have set aside one day to deal with the appeal against verdicts that she plotted with Colin Howell to kill their spouses.

Stewart (49), a mother of two, has undergone psychiatric examinations and psychological assessments as part of her attempt to overturn her conviction. Those findings have been submitted to her defence and discussed with Stewart at Hydebank Prison.

Her legal team is still considering whether to seek to have fresh evidence admitted in their challenge.

She was jailed for a minimum of 18 years for the murders of her husband, Constable Trevor Buchanan (32), and Lesley Howell (31) in May 1991.