Farmer's murder conviction quashed

A County Wicklow farmer convicted of murdering his older brother two years ago has had his conviction quashed at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin.

Cecil Tomkins, 63, of New Lodge Nursing Home, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, had denied murdering his brother Walter at Cronlea, Shillelagh in July 2010.

He is now suffering from advanced Parkinson's Syndrome, is confined to a wheelchair and is incapable of feeding himself.

The Appeal Court found on Tuesday that the trial judge did not tell the jury that premeditation was not necessarily inconsistent with diminished responsibility.

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

Mr Justice John McMenamin said bail should be dealt with by the Central Criminal Court as soon as possible.