Sharon Collins Conviction

 Posted by on July 9, 2008  Add comments
Jul 092008
 

I don’t believe Sharon Collins is guilty.

I think the conviction is wrong. I think it’s a set-up.

In my opinion, somebody staged this to make Sharon Collins look guilty, and I think what we have witnessed is a miscarriage of justice.

I think the whole thing stinks, and the sooner there’s a re-trial the better.

Somebody deserves to be in jail, but that person isn’t Sharon Collins.

I have a fairly strong alternative hypothesis regarding what really happened in this case, but if I published it here I’d get sued for defamation, and who wants that?

The more I think about this case, the more worried I am at the trend developing in Irish criminal cases. It seems that juries have been watching too much CSI on the television, and it seems they feel the need to convict someone. Anyone. Of course, it doesn’t help when some of the jury members, as in this case, are under pressure to make sure they don’t miss the pre-booked familiy holiday. What a way to run a justice system!

Is it that hard to understand the idea of proof beyond reasonable doubt? Do juries find it that hard to understand that if there’s any credible alternative explanation they must acquit, no matter how likely it is that the defendant is guilty?

Why do I keep saying these things? Is it to protect criminals?

No.

It’s to protect you and me.

It’s to prevent people being imprisoned because they look shifty, or because there’s every chance they did it. That’s not good enough. The test is that the case must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, and if there’s any other reasonable interpretation of the facts, then they must be acquitted. They must be released, though we all think they’re probably guilty. Otherwise, you and I are in danger of being imprisoned on the accusation of unaccountable police.

The case against Sharon Collins is full of holes and today, I’m afraid, yet again, we’ve seen somebody convicted on the balance of probabilities, and not on rigorous proof.

It would be a terrible pity if someone went to prison because jury members were afraid they’d miss their foreign holiday.

___________________

Also on Bock:
Sharon Collins – One Hand Convicted Of Clapping
Elsewhere: Irish Times

  48 Responses to “Sharon Collins Conviction”

Comments (46) Pingbacks (2)
  1.  

    Why do you think that?

    Seems too complicated a setup to pull off. Weirdly, the unlikely nature of the thing is the best argument for its genuineness.

    Or not…

  2.  

    Right now, I’m only saying it’s my gut feeling.

  3.  

    It would be terrible to be convicted based on the sworn evidence of a convicted fraudster.

  4.  

    It’s all a bit strange and unbelievable but I’m having a hard time believing her when she said she was more a Justin Timberlake fan then an Eagles one. – she’s a good liar…..but when you’re caught out lying once…..

  5.  

    I haven’t followed the case obviously but I’ve read a bunch of newspaper articles on the case since reading about it here, and from these alone it looks to me like she’s guilty.

    For example, she said she wasn’t the holder of the email account used to contact the hitman, yet she admitted to taking diet drugs ordered with that account.

    And why sneak around trying to get a marriage certificate in different countries, at least one time without her husband’s knowledge?

  6.  

    Have been following the case and my gut feeling(which is purely an uneducated one,and thank fuck has no bearing on anything), is that she is guilty.If she has been stitched up somebody has done a really thorough job of it. I sincerely hope if there are doubts as you and many others have already expressed,that a retrial will happen A.S.A.P.

  7.  

    This is ludicrous. What the hell is wrong with our criminal justice system? Beyond reasonable doubt people. BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT!!!!!!

    I spoke to someone about this today at lunch. We were discussing the possible outcome of the case and we began on the topic of on-line identities in particular the Second Life site. I was talking about the notion that people do and say things in their online alter egos that they were never dream of doing in real life (for instance I’m sure Bock is a meek mild mannered reporter in reality). And that such alter-egos were often a vent for frustration and emotions that one could not put forth in their own life.

    The bloke I was speaking to (in his late 40s and a Barrister) was fascinated by this concept of an “on-line persona”. He has been in on the case for quite a while and told me that such a concept was never addressed in the courts! OMG!!!!!

    It’s all a bit too obvious. I mean hitmanforhire.com???? WTF!!!

    Bring on the re-trial!

  8.  

    if she was set up then who did it? eh? did yer man fly over from Vegas, use her 2 computers to set up an e-mail account and send mails to himself from it? huh????

    i do stand corrected here Bock – feel free to jump in with an alternative to the the fact SHE DID IT…!!

  9.  

    Artyeva: The Egyptian guy could have been hired by a number of people. Emails can be sent by anybody. Accounts can be accessed fairly easily. If I gave you my alternative hypothesis, I’d be sued.

    It’s all about juries convicting people on evidence that fails to prove the charge beyond reasonable doubt.

    I had the same objections to Kearney case and the O Reilly case.

  10.  

    OH – whoops – ok – I thought they had introduced the IP address of her PC’s as being the source of the e-mail account, and that an IP address was individual to one and one only PC? no?

    I’ll shut up now cause as you know I’m not the most technical of beasts but I will say this- who would go to the TROUBLE of framing someone using such an elaborate and far fetched ruse? They must really have wanted her to go down man….and they must be avid CSI fans…. wait a minute – wasn’t yer man from Vegas?

    who are you? who? who? who? who? :-)

  11.  

    Somebody with a reason. That’s who.

  12.  

    I agree with you. I think she’s innocent. Something about the whole email business!

    If you state it’s your personal opinion then surely it can’t be defamation? Isn’t only defamation if you insist it’s the truth with or without proof, but if you’re stating it’s your opinion then it’s just freedom of speech.

  13.  

    Multiple Personality Disorder ( or Dissociative Identity Disorder as it is now known). With knobs on. It was her and it wasn’t her.

  14.  

    Unless we’re not hearing the full story, if emails, internet searches and credit card payments are being used as absolute proof in court, then it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt that the party responsible for doing the search or writing the email in question or making the payment was the one who actually did it. It’s not good enough to just make an assumption and it certainly seems as if the courts and DPP are taking a very basic, primitive approach to technical issues, which is frightening.

  15.  

    Yes. Exactly.

    This is Roger Rabbit territory.

    A disembodied internet entity made these contacts, resulting in the imprisonment of Sharon Collins.

    No absolute connection was made between the two, despite the requirement to prove the accusation beyond reasonable doubt.

  16.  

    I was surprised that she was found guilty. Some recent verdicts (especially in murder cases) have been difficult to square against the standard of proof. The direction of reporting on such cases – or rather, the “editorialising” of such reports – is very troubling in the way it presumes some national consensus on the question of guilt. The murder victim’s family is increasingly identified as representing “us” and if the verdict goes the “wrong” way then “we” are supposed to feel aggrieved – the Kearney case being a prime example of this. Completely tangential to your point, Bock – sorry.

  17.  

    Hey Bock, I’m just stopping by to say hi. Hope all’s well.

  18.  

    Was the “hitman” paid €15,000 as a deposit?
    Is so were they able to track the payment?
    Who standed to gain from her conviction?
    Did the whole thing come to light because the “Hitman” double crossed the real conspirator?

    I dont know,but i think they are pertinant questions.

  19.  

    Bock, the question of the certainty around the IP address is somewhat open. There again, I thought the payment link to her was meant to be quite strong or so it was reported as being.

    I’m taking this from the Indo (God help me)

    “Ms Ni Raifeartaigh said there were 14 points that proved that the accused woman, Sharon Collins, was Lyingeyes, but the “smoking gun” was the fact that the person logging onto the Iridium laptop in Ballybeg House at 8.10am on August 16, 2006, as Lyingeyes had checked the tracking number of a FedEx parcel Ms Collins admits sending to the home of Mr Eid.

    Ms Collins said in her evidence that she had given the tracking number to no one else in Ireland. ”

    The problem for her was that she was denying one thing then admitting something else that contradicted it. She denied the email address was hers but it seems she had then admitted to ordering diet pills (can’t remember where I heard this I think it was the RTe news) using the same email address.

  20.  

    It’s a very bizzare case, I had a couple of alternative suspects in my head at the start of this case but as it dragged on I slowly came to the realisation that she is indeed guilty of crass stupidity on top of all the other charges.

    Consider yourself luck that she did’nt cast her “Lying Eyes” on your assets

  21.  

    The question of an Irish ISP user’s IP is interesting.

    Irish ISP’s have been “asked” in the past to keep a log of IP / MAC / Phone number / DSL circuits for a period of not less than three years.

    This is what confused me about the Judge Curtin case. If you could prove that the guy was the only person in the house at the time of the access of questionable material then he’s done!

    To be clear. They didn’t need the computer itself, just the server logs from the questionable website and the ISP’s Radius logs. The state just never seemed to bother.

    Same here. If you can prove (beyond reasonable doubt) she’s the only person in Ballybeg House when the tracking number was checked then she’s done!

  22.  

    Law cases are very complex and what one reads in the paper is never the complete trans script of evidence that is presented in court to the jury.. the Press go for the headlines and not the boring bits that in this case took 6 weeks of evidence.. we must accept the decision of the jury as that is our legal system.. of course we could have a 3 judge court system like the European model??

  23.  

    John: We’re still permitted to question a verdict if we’re uneasy about it.

  24.  

    She looks shifty. Definitely guilty.

  25.  

    Why not give us your alternative theory from the safe anonymity of the internet, quite apt in this case.

    I have a gut feeling though that the reasonable doubt burden of your theory will be quite high too. does it involve the son’s?

  26.  

    On the topic of proof: Balance of Probability proofs are all that is needed in Civil Cases. In effect this means that all likelyhood the events happened as described by the claimant. These cases are tried before one judge only in every court in the land with the exception of the Supreme Court who sit with a min of 3 judges if a case gets that far on appeal. (Exception, libel where a jury hears the evidence) Beyond a reasonable doubt is used in criminal cases and these are usually heard before juries, except where the accused opts for a trial at the District Court. I think the important word here is “reasonable”. The test is, what is the view of a reasonable person. Is the proof sufficient to persuade them that the proposed alternatives are so unbelievable that such theories can be disregarded and the jury can be justified in proceeding to convict. I think the burden of Absolute proof is too high a burden and would make virtually every case brought by Gardai unwinable. Absolute proof is almost never available, even where the accused confesses to a crime. Some people unbelieveably, confess to crimes that they have not done. We have what we have and there is recourse to an Appeal process, both on law and facts.

  27.  

    Ballwatcher: This site is subject to the same defamation laws as any other publication.

    Red Mist: I think juries these days are convicting people on the balance of probabilities.

  28.  

    I understand your perception on the standard of proofs used by irish juries. For my part I was surprised they convicted on the basis that it is very rare indeed for an Irish jury to convict any woman of murder, attempted murder and the like. I am thinking of that irish soldier who was shot dead as he slept in his bed in midleton. Wife went free when the “psychological torture” defence was spouted. Hard for a man to deny when he was dead, I think you will agree. I think the big sin of Ms Collins was that she was not married to the man she plotted to kill. She was cast as a cold Jezebel in court and in public for having the audacity to set up house with a wealthy man who provided for her, and sun holidays in his place in Spain to boot the brazen hussy. That was her big sin which sent her to a lower place in our caste system, not deserving of sympathy, or perhaps even proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I am on constant alert for the approaches of jezebels and husseys as I am sure you know! Ha

  29.  

    Red Mist:your angle on how she was protrayed in court does get bells ringing alright.
    the eye of suspician could be cast in a different direction although due to libel and slander laws i wouldnt dream of supposing who that would be…
    I would say an appeal is on the cards though,if her lawyers are any use at their jobs. The indo must have shifted a fair few extra copies this morning over it too.

  30.  

    Out of curiosity you liable for the contents of the comments section?

  31.  

    Yes

  32.  

    does anyone think a conviction can be obtained beyond reasonable doubt when you have the best barristers in the country looking to twist the evidence and put there own slant on it. if i were a juror i would have to use an element of common sense. saying this i think she was 100% guilty. who else was going to benefit from the murders had it taken place. (did she really think she could pull this off) SILLY WOMAN

  33.  

    Tony: you seem to be suggesting that we should abandon the reasonable doubt requirement, or am I misunderstanding you?

  34.  

    Not abandon it but as a juror i would have to use common sense. EG THE OJ SIMPSON CASE or do you think he was innocent because he was found not guilty. just because he was a black man and some of the cops on the case had made a .racist remark some time in there life. so the race card was used and people somehow forgot that 2 people were murdered. so thats why i say common sense should be used

  35.  

    I don’t want to get into the OJ Simpson case as it was in a different country and had different facts associated with it.

    However distasteful the result of that case might have been for many people, the fact remains that the prosecution failed to convince a jury of his guilt.

    Likewise, however imperfect the system might be, it’s there for your protection and mine. I wouldn’t like to be convicted by public opinion. Would you?

  36.  

    no, i would not like to be convicted on public opinion. but i said common sense. its not a case of an imperfect system its people looking for loopholes to get murderers off the hook. that in a civil society i find very distasteful

  37.  

    Like you Bock and as an IT person, the reason why I stumbled on your site was because I’m worried that this is a setup. I was thinking the same way as you are thinking that no connection had been made between an unknown internet identity and Sharon Collins. Then, just from reading this site I realised that she admits having had contact with Eid. How in the name of God could she have had contact with him and… the person who set her up is also supposed to have been in contact with him? How could that be? If it was the sons for example are they also supposed to have been in contact with the same hitman in Las vegas? Really, how could she have had any contact with him unless she had been the one?
    Then there’s the fact that she admits in evidence seemingly, so I read in the papers, that she sent him money. I know that for people like you and I we cannot accept that she is for real and imagine that this must be a set-up but how the hell she could know Eid unless she’s guilty?

  38.  

    Howya Faye. If you’ve been coming here a while, you’ll have noticed that I like to peel back the layers. If Sharon Collins is guilty, I have no problem with that, but what I don’t like is this widespread uncritical acceptance of forensic evidence, as if a scientist or an engineer was never mistaken.

  39.  

    I totally agree hence I stumbled on your site. I haven’t read enough about the case so the bit I did read frightened me because I thought that everything seemed based on IT evidence… If she was not “Lying Eyes” an innocent had just been sent away. I was afraid that indeed this evidence had been accepted as indisputable. Then again though there are plenty of savvy Irish IT people and I presume that the jury would have looked into all that.
    But if it’s true that she admits to knowing him, then all that remains to be asked is, how could she know him – the man who runs a site devoted to hitmen?

  40.  

    It’s brilliant, isn’t it? I’d like to see what “knowing him” means in this cyberworld we’ve created. William Gibson has a lot to answer for.

  41.  

    I cannot believe there has not been at least 1 good joke about this whole case making its way around the cell towers and blogs!

  42.  

    The important evidence in this case was the payment and this established the intent of the crime. Seems to me that Sharon was afraid she’d be kicked out of her boy friends home by the lake if he keeled over by his two suns and she and her two suns would loose all.

  43.  

    Bock is an idiot, anyone who followed the evidence can see that Sharon Collins cold bloodedly planned the murders of three people, I hope she gets life to mean life.

  44.  

    As regular readers know, I like to encourage rational debate here.

    “Bock is an idiot” doesn’t fit into that category.

    I don’t usually do this, but since you’ve broken the rule about personal abuse in comments, here goes.

    Fuck you and fuck off.

  45.  

    She is guilty as sin………..Why women even bother…I am speaking as a woman, but I am embarrased to say that I am a woman when I hear and see the carry on of most…Standing on the outside looking in….Ireland looks like an episode of the sullivans meets dallas meets eastenders!!!!! If that makes sense!

  46.  

    once again you have all missed the unchallengeable truth…….” if it looks like an duck…..”

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