Irish News

Thursday 24 July 2014

I will prove I was framed for death plot, says 'Lying Eyes'

Breda Heffernan

Published 31/12/2012|05:00

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Sharon Collins: determined to prove she was a scapegoat in triple murder conspiracy

SHARON 'Lying Eyes' Collins hopes some day to prove she was framed for plotting the murder of her lover and his two sons.

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Until then, she is in talks with publishers, movie studios and TV companies about selling her story.

Criminals are banned in many jurisdictions from profiting from their crimes, but there is no legal impediment in Ireland to prevent Collins making a fortune from her notoriety.

Collins (49) is negotiating a movie deal, while several US chat shows are keen to secure her first TV appearance.

She is also writing two books, one detailing her life including her 2008 trial, and the other based on her time behind bars at the Dochas Centre in Mountjoy, Dublin.

In her first interview since being released on September 10 after serving a four-year sentence, the divorced mother of two said she has a name in mind for who framed her, but refused to reveal it.

Collins, from Ennis, Co Clare, was convicted of conspiring to kill her then partner, property developer PJ Howard, and his sons, Robert and Niall. She was found to have solicited Las Vegas poker dealer Essam Eid to carry out the hits.

Mr Howard stood by Collins throughout her six-week trial, and even pleaded with the judge to show clemency. He also visited her in prison, but they later broke up.

Collins said Mr Howard had remained loyal "because he knew me", and denied he had been blinded by love.

Asked if she still loves him, Collins replied: "I think I'll always care for him."

Afraid

Collins was 35 when she was approached by Mr Howard, then aged 49, in the shop where she worked in Ennis in 1998 and invited to dinner.

But it was no ordinary date – he was going to Spain for a few days and asked if she would accompany him.

Within a month, she had moved into Mr Howard's home.

It was argued in court that Collins hatched the plot to kill Mr Howard and his sons after he refused to marry her so his business – once valued at €60m – would go to his sons.

Her trial heard that she pretended they were married, obtained a fake marriage certificate on the internet and applied for a passport in the name of Sharon Howard.

Speaking of her time in prison, she said: "You're afraid of everything. You're wondering if the women are going to attack you. It's very intimidating."

She was initially friendly with 'Black Widow' Catherine Nevin, but the two fell out.

"I felt we had nothing in common. I didn't take to her. She wasn't someone I trusted," she said.

Irish Independent

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