Double-murder dentist TV drama criticised

Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed to meet the Culture Secretary John Wittingdale to discuss a television dramatisation about double-murder dentist Colin Howell.

Howell and his former lover Hazel Stewart were convicted in 2011 of the double murder of Howell’s wife Lesley and Stewart’s husband Trevor in Coleraine in 1991.

A recent three-part ITV drama series, The Secret, told the story of how Howell and Stewart staged a double suicide and effectively got away with murder for nearly 20 years. However, the daughter of Lesley Howell has contacted her MP to complain that the series has left her traumatised. Writing in the Guardian, she said: “When media interest goes beyond the reporting of events and is against the wishes of family members, the effects can be as devastating as the murder itself.”

She continued: “Surely the law needs to change in a way that enforces the human right to privacy, especially in a time of such vulnerability.

“Victims and their families need more options to express their voice and have more rights over their “story” and the narrative of their loved ones.”