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Many people in jail shouldn’t be there but Hazel Stewart is where she belongs

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As the conniving double killer Hazel Stewart observes: “If you don’t have your family, you’ve nothing.” Indeed. The broken-hearted relatives of the two people she and her lover, Colin Howell, savagely murdered will know all about the pain of being parted from a beloved family member.

In an exclusive interview this week with Belfast Telegraph crime correspondent Allison Morris, Hazel styles herself as an ingenue, totally manipulated by an older, sophisticated man.

Back when she met Howell, she was “naive”, “vulnerable”, “very quiet”, a “country person” who’d just moved to a big town.

The big town was Coleraine. Not exactly New York.

And Hazel wasn’t exactly isolated. She had her husband, Trevor Buchanan. She had her children and her Church.

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And despite how it’s been portrayed, that Church wasn’t some weird offshoot of Gilead.

Jimmy Nesbitt, who starred in The Secret, the movie about the pair’s crimes, recalls the Baptist neighbours with whom he grew up in the same area.

“It’s quite easy to imagine that Baptist community as an odd and cultish world, but it wasn’t at all. They’re certainly a close community, but I knew a lot of these people and they’re charitable people that will go out of their way to help you.”

And Hazel Stewart back then certainly wasn’t your local shy, shrinking violet. Hazel liked to keep up appearances.

What propelled Howell and Stewart — a seemingly respectable dentist and a........

© Belfast Telegraph

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