Hitman-for-hire slams Sharon 'Lying Eyes' Collins

NewsBy Patrick O'Connell
Sharon Collins
Sharon Collins

HITMAN-for-hire Essam Eid this week insisted Sharon ‘Lying Eyes’ Collins should admit she plotted to have her partner and his two sons killed before she is allowed to “get on with her life”.

Speaking for the first time since he returned to live in his native Egypt – where he is now running a 15-acre farm on the banks of the River Nile – Eid said he was flabbergasted at Collins’s claim she deserves “a second chance”.

Essam Eid

“Second chances are for people who admit what they have done,” he told the Sunday World.

“Sharon never admitted what she did, so for her there should be no second chance. I admitted what I did, so yes I deserve a second chance.”

Divorcee Collins – who hired Eid to kill her lover PJ Howard and his two sons in a bizarre plot to inherit the family’s €60million fortune – claimed last October she “should be able to get on with my life”.

The 53-year-old schemer spoke out after the Sunday World tracked her down to a north Belfast two-bedroom-flat where she scraped a living providing dog-walking and dog-grooming services to pet owners.

It was the first time Collins spoke since she was freed from prison in 2012 after serving three years and nine months for attempting to hire a hitman to kill the trio.

Since then, the mum-of-two’s finances have received a major boost following the €100,000 sale of a two-bedroom house in Ennis.

This week, Eid told the Sunday World he will never forgive Collins for her role in his downfall.

“I am still hurt over what happened to me in Ireland, but I am in Egypt now. I am back with my family and my wife and when I wake up I have 15 acres of farm to take care of.

“I lived in America for 32 years, but after I had a car accident last year and no-one visited me in the hospital I realised that I needed to leave. I can say I am now truly happy.”

Now managing a herd of 52 cows, the former Vegas blackjack dealer looks back on his role in the bizarre ‘Lying Eyes’ case as one of the darkest period of his life.

During her 2008 trial, the court heard how Collins contacted Eid via his ‘Hitmen For Hire’ website, choosing as her pseudonym the title of the Eagles hit Lying Eyes – a song about a woman who chooses money over love.

She proposed that Eid arrange for Mr Howard’s sons to have a fatal accident and then kill the father, in what would be designed to look like a grief-stricken suicide.

She told Eid in one email: “His boys are going to suffer. I wish it didn’t have to be like this, but I know that if my husband was dead and they were still here, they’d screw me.”

Collins paid €15,000 as a deposit for the contract, but the plot blew up in her face in September 2006 when Eid decided to blackmail the family – demanding €150,000 to cancel the assassination.

Robert Howard alerted police and Eid was caught in a surveillance operation which led to Collins.

The attractive blonde had met Mr Howard in 1998 and the couple privately pledged themselves to each other in 2005. A month later Collins obtained a fake marriage certificate from a Mexican website, which she used to get a passport in the name of ‘Sharon Howard’.

Four months before recruiting Eid, Collins had written to Irish radio’s Gerry Ryan Show, alleging that Mr Howard used prostitutes, had sex with transvestites and wanted to take her to swingers’ clubs.

Despite all this, the businessman stunned court observers during the trial by embracing a weeping Collins after he gave testimony at her trial.

After his release from prison in Ireland in 2011, Eid was returned to the U.S., where he was hit with a 33-month prison sentence for his part in an almost identical scam resulting from another femme fatale trying to secure his services. 

The intended target of the hit, Ann Royston, said she was approached by Eid, who offered her the chance to cancel the hit for $20,000. In the American case Eid was convicted of extortion.

“I admitted everything that I did, I am not a liar,” Eid said this week.

“But Sharon, she has admitted nothing, but wants people to feel sorry for her. I do not feel sorry for her. One day I might go back to Ireland, there is something in my head I have to do there, but I do not want to put it in the paper.

“She knows what she did and she knows she didn’t tell the truth. She has never faced up to her actions.

“I don’t know what kind of person that makes her – I would call her a money lover who deserves what she gets and didn’t get what she deserved.”