The convicted woman at the centre of the Lying Eyes case, Sharon Collins, is living at an undisclosed location and is writing a book about the case where she will protest her innocence.
That is according to her solicitor, Patrick Moylan, who said yesterday that it was “a source of sorrow” for Ms Collins that she would not be returning to her hometown of Ennis.
Ms Collins was released from the Dóchas Centre at Mountjoy prison on Monday afternoon and Mr Moylan confirmed she was residing at a “secret location” in Ireland in order to avoid any media intrusion into her life.
Ms Collins, aged 47, was released from prison this week after serving almost four years of a six-year jail term after being convicted of hiring a hitman, Essam Eid, aged 56, from a website to kill her partner, PJ Howard, and his two sons.
Yesterday, Mr Moylan said: “Sharon would much rather come and live with her family and friends in Ennis and integrate with them but she can’t because of the media attention it would bring to them.”
He said that “there has already been a media presence at her mother’s home in Ennis this week. Sharon’s mother was distressed by the media attention from a number of weeks ago when her was frightened to walk up town and frightened to open her door and that level of concern rests with her”.
He said: “Sharon won’t be coming back to Ennis in the near future. Sharon wants to try to develop her life and would like some sort of anonymity the same as any other citizen enjoys. If she returns to Ennis that is not going to happen and if her location is identified that is going to be more difficult.”
He declined to say what part of the country Ms Collins was residing in. Asked if it was a secret location, Mr Moylan replied: “It certainly is.”
“Sharon is very well. She is enjoying being free and looking to get on with her life.”
Asked if she would be seeking work, he said: “Sharon has to let her life settle down and come to terms with her new freedom before she makes any decision on that.”
Mr Moylan confirmed that Ms Collins is writing a book on the case. “The contents of the book are purely a matter for Sharon, but it is her account of the case.”
Asked if she had any remorse or regrets from her role in the crime, Mr Moylan said she maintained her innocence. “Sharon has always maintained her innocence and we have always maintained her innocence and therefore she doesn’t have regrets.”
Mr Moylan said that the book “will continue in that vein, most definitely” and that talks were ongoing with publishers.
The Kilrush-based solicitor said “Sharon found prison difficult, but she engaged with the process and was a model prisoner”.
He said she was restricted from speaking directly to the media until December when her prison term comes to an end.
During the trial in 2008, the court was told that Collins used the name “Lying Eyes” to contact Eid by email. Eid, who called himself Tony Luciano, described himself as a hitman for hire.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved