Northern Ireland

Colin Howell to be questioned over sexual assault allegation

Colin Howell pleaded guilty to two murders Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption Colin Howell is currently in jail for a double murder

Convicted double killer Colin Howell is set to be questioned about a new allegation of serious sexual assault.

Police have made arrangements to have the 58-year-old former dentist brought from jail on Wednesday for interview, informed sources have disclosed.

The allegation relates to an historical incident, according to one of those familiar with the case.

Howell is currently serving a minimum of 21 years in jail for murders of his wife and his ex-lover's husband.

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.

Mr Buchanan was married to Howell's then lover, Hazell Stewart.

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

Nearly two decades passed before Howell suddenly confessed to both killings in January 2009.

He pleaded guilty to the murders in 2010, implicated Stewart in the plot and went on to give evidence against her at her trial.

In March 2011, she was unanimously convicted of both murders and ordered to serve at least 18 years behind bars.

Since then the former Sunday School teacher has failed in a series of attempts to have the verdicts overturned.

on Wednesday, Howell is to be produced from Maghaberry Prison and taken to the Laganside Courts complex in Belfast.

He is then expected to be transferred to nearby Musgrave Street police station where he is to be interviewed about the sexual assault allegation.

More on this story