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Court hears criminal damage charge will be dropped against academic if he ‘rectifies’ matters

2 Mins read
BT Coleraine

A court has heard an academic who owns a former home of driller-killer dentist Colin Howell will have a charge of causing criminal damage to a fence and blackthorn hedge belonging to a neighbour withdrawn if the alleged damage is “rectified”.

Dr Andrew Biggart (54), of Glebe Road near Castlerock, is charged with causing criminal damage to the fence and hedge belonging to David Mahon on a date unknown between February 20 and March 7, 2017.

The case was listed as a contest at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday but defence barrister Andrew Moriarty said a “resolution” had been proposed which he said was “entirely pragmatic”.

A prosecutor confirmed that if the “alleged damage” was “rectified” the charge against the defendant could then be withdrawn.

The court heard if the case was adjourned to September it was hoped the resolution would “crystalise”.

The court was also told there had been “no further police involvement” in the last two years.

Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy said the police had more important things to do.

It is not the first time there has been a case at Coleraine Court involving Dr Biggart.

In May 2017 at Coleraine Court, Dr Biggart had a charge of harassing another neighbour – Willie Gregg – on dates between March 9 and March 17 in 2017 – withdrawn.

Mr Gregg is particularly well-known through the Harbour Bar in Portrush.

Dr Biggart bought Colin Howell’s old home after it was put on the market with an asking price of £300,000.

Howell had moved to the Glebe Road property – which has four reception rooms and four bedrooms, a paddock and its own lake – long after he murdered first wife Lesley and Trevor Buchanan.

Mr Buchanan was the policeman husband of Howell’s mistress Hazel Stewart.

Both Howell and Stewart are now serving jail sentences for the murders.

Dr Biggart has named the Glebe Road property Eala Lodge and it is available on Airbnb.

The Airbnb webpage says: ‘Dr Andy Biggart the owner has lived on the North Coast for the past 20 years and has a wealth of experience of things to do in the area for the young and old alike having brought two children up in the area.

‘He enjoys the outdoors and his principle mode of transport is by motorcycle regularly commuting all year around the 120 mile trip to Queen’s University where he is employed as a Lecturer.

‘Other interests include DIY and upcycling furniture, boating & fishing and he also has a love of cooking especially sea-food to be enjoyed with a nice glass of wine.

‘The owner lives in a completely separated Annex of the house, he is very friendly and happy to advise guests and make the most out of what the property has to offer, but will give guests space to have their own privacy if desired’.

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