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PJ still supports 'Lying Eyes' as she loses appeal

BUSINESSMAN P J Howard remains close to his ex-partner Sharon 'Lying Eyes' Collins -- the mother of two jailed for soliciting a man to kill him and his two sons.

The Co Clare's woman's appeal against her conviction was turned down by the Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday, which refused all 23 grounds of appeal.

Collins (48) of Kildysart Road, Ennis 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 and his two sons Robert and Niall on August 15, 2006.

Speaking after yesterday's verdict, her solicitor said the two remain close. "Mr Howard remains very supportive of Sharon," solicitor Eugene O'Kelly said. "He was not present for the proceedings today because he physically couldn't be.

"He is in Spain and we only learned last evening that the judgment was to be handed down."

Asked if the pair hope to be reunited following her release in early 2013, Mr O'Kelly said: "I really have no idea."

In the aftermath of the judgment, Mr O'Kelly described his client as "disappointed" with the outcome but not devastated.

"She has only a year left to serve on her sentence," he said.

"And I have no doubt that she will have a chance to tell her side of the story on her release."

Tanned and petite, Collins entered the courtroom yesterday dressed in a smart grey jacket and black trousers.

After the judgment, she was returned to the Dochas Centre women's prison in Dublin.

She is due for release in March 2013, taking into account remission for good behaviour.

Collins was accused of using the internet username "lyingeyes98" to investigate the hiring of a hitman.

mlavery@herald.ie