Wicklow farmer Cecil Tomkins has conviction for brother's murder quashed

Tuesday 16 October 2012 23.24
Cecil Tomkins had denied murdering his older brother in 2010
Cecil Tomkins had denied murdering his older brother in 2010

The Court of Criminal Appeal has quashed the conviction of a Co Wicklow farmer for the murder of his brother at their home two years ago and ordered a retrial.

Cecil Tomkins, 63, of New Lodge Nursing Home, Stocking Lane in Rathfarnham, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Walter Tomkins, 66, at Cronelea, Shillelagh, on 1 July 2010.

He was convicted by a jury at the Central Criminal Court last March.

That trial heard that Cecil admitted shooting Walter three days after their mother Bella was laid to rest because he did not follow her burial wishes and interred her in the local cemetery, not in Gorey as she had requested.

The Court of Criminal Appeal this morning found that the trial judge did not tell the jury that premeditation was not necessarily inconsistent with diminished responsibility.

The court ruled that the absence of such a direction could have left the jury with an incomplete and erroneous view of the law.

Mr Tomkins is now suffering from advanced Parkinson's Disease. He uses a wheelchair and is incapable of independent living.

Mr Justice John MacMenamin said there was the question of who would take care of Mr Tomkins and where would he go if he was granted bail immediately.

However, the Central Criminal Court released Mr Tomkins from prison on bail this afternoon after Mr Justice Paul Carney was told he will live at the Bloomfield nursing home.