Jail move for ailing farmer who killed his brother
A FARMER who was convicted last week of murdering his older brother in a row over his mother's burial wishes, has been moved to a new prison block that can cater for his medical needs.
Cecil Tomkins (63), has spent the past 18 months in a nursing home, where he has been treated for Parkinsons syndrome and dementia. As a result of his illness, he is wheelchair-bound.
He was unable to attend the last two days days of his seven-day trial.
After he was sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment in the Central Criminal Court last Monday week, Tomkins was placed in a cell in the medical care unit at Mountjoy.
But he has now been transferred to a new block, opened two years ago, at Wheatfield jail in west Dublin.
He has been moved to a single cell with wheelchair access in a unit that has more advanced medical facilities than Mountjoy. The transfer followed consultations between the prison authorities, their own medical advisers and the farmer's personal doctor.
His address was given in court as New Lodge nursing home, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham in south Dublin.
Tomkins had pleaded not guilty to murdering his brother, Walter (66) at Cronlea, Shillelagh, Co Wicklow, on July 1, 2010. Tomkins, a bachelor, told gardai that he shot Walter, also a bachelor, in the hallway of the house they shared because he had not followed his mother's burial wishes.
The trial heard that their mother, Bella Tomkins, had been buried days before the shooting on June 28 in the local cemetery at Aghowle, with her husband, who had died in 1999.
Her original wish had been to be buried with her family in Kilcormac, Co Wexford, but she had later reserved a plot in Gorey in 2001 and left a letter outlining her wishes.
Tomkins told a consultant psychiatrist: "I got the gun and shot him. I regretted it the moment I did it."