Court sets date for 'Lying Eyes' appeal

The Court of Criminal appeal has fixed a date in March of next year for the hearing of Clare woman Sharon Collins' appeal against her conviction for soliciting an Egyptian poker dealer to kill her partner and his two sons.

Today at the CCA, Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman fixed March 11, 2010, as the date for the hearing of their appeal against their convictions. On the same date the three-judge court will also consider an appeal brought by her co-accused Essam Eid (aged 54), an Egyptian national and Las Vegas poker dealer against his conviction.

The appeals are expected to be heard over two days.

In July 2008 Ms Collins, (aged 46) Kildysart Road, Ennis was found guilty of soliciting Essam Eid, an Egyptian with a Las Vegas address, to kill PJ, Robert and Niall Howard in 2006. She was also found guilty on three counts of conspiring to kill the three men. She had denied the charges.

Eid was found guilty of demanding €100,000 from Robert Howard on September 26, 2006. He was also convicted of handling items stolen from the Howard family business the previous night.

Both Collins, who was accused of using the cyber name "lyingeyes98" to hire a hitman on the internet, and Eid were jailed for six years by Mr Justice Roderick Murphy at a sitting of the Central Criminal Court in November 2008.

During the 32-day trial the jury heard Collins had started looking for a hitman on the internet after Mr Howard refused to marry her.

Prior to this she obtained a Mexican marriage certificate from a website called proxymarriages.com which she used to obtain an Irish passport in the name Sharon Howard.

The jury heard that a large part of the prosecution's case against both Collins and Eid were the extensive series of e-mails found on the hard drives of computers seized from the homes of both Collins and Eid.

Collins used the pseudonym "Lying Eyes" in e-mails.


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