Woman in 'lying eyes' case out of jail early
SHARON COLLINS, the woman jailed for trying to hire a man to kill her partner and his two adult sons, has been released early from a six-year prison sentence partly because of prison overcrowding.
She was convicted in 2008 in what became known as the “lying eyes” case.
The Irish Times understands she was released from the Dóchas Centre women’s prison in the Mountjoy complex in north Dublin on Monday, some four months before her sentence was served in full, even allowing for remission, because the jail is overcrowded.
A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service said it could not comment on individual cases.
Collins (49), of Kildysart Road, Ennis, Co Clare, was jailed for six years in November 2008 after a Central Criminal Court jury found her guilty of soliciting a man to murder her partner, PJ Howard, and his two sons, Robert and Niall Howard, on August 15th, 2006.
Collins, who was accused of using the internet handle “lying-eyes98” to investigate the hiring of a hitman on the internet, was also found guilty on three counts of conspiring to kill the three men.
Her trial heard she tried to hire Egyptian-born Las Vegas poker dealer Essam Eid to carry out the killings. While sentenced in November 2008, she was convicted in July 2008, and was held in prison from that date.
Of her six-year sentence, she was entitled to a 25 per cent remission. She was due for release in early January 2013, at which point she would have served 4½ years – her full six-year sentence less remission. However, she has now been released four months early.
A jury at the Central Criminal Court heard in 2008 that Collins and Mr Howard held a ceremony in Italy where they declared their love for one another, and on their return home they held a function for friends. She pretended they were married, obtained a fake marriage certificate through eBay and got a passport in the name of Sharon Howard.
Collins then created her internet alias and through Hitmanforhire.comcontacted Tony Luciano, otherwise known as Essam Eid. The pair hatched an elaborate plan and the hitman flew to Ireland with his wife to kill Mr Howard and his sons for $90,000, the jury was told.
But when Eid arrived in Ireland he tried to blackmail Robert Howard to call off the hit and the pair were caught, the court heard.
Eid was cleared of conspiracy to murder, but jailed for six years for extortion and handling stolen property.