Latest: State Pathologist testifies at trial of man accused of murdering ex-girlfriend in Dublin hotel

Latest: State Pathologist testifies at trial of man accused of murdering ex-girlfriend in Dublin hotel
Eric Locke.

Update 5.17pm: The trial of a man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend in a hotel room has heard that she was dressed when her body was found on the floor of Room 346 in the Plaza Hotel.

The State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy told the jury that Sonia Blount's black jeans were buttoned and zipped but were low down over her hips.

The prosecuting barrister Remy Farrell said there was a suggestion Eric Locke may have dressed her after he killed her.

Prof. Cassidy said that would have been difficult after she died.

She said there was evidence of recent sexual activity, but she said there was no way of knowing if it had been consensual.

She said Sonia’s death was due to strangulation and could have been a combination of manual and ligature strangulation.

She accepted the cable of a mobile phone charger found next to her body could have been used and said the placing of a gag in her mouth would have also contributed to her death.

Update 2.24pm: A Dublin murder trial has been shown CCTV footage of the accused man running from the hotel where he strangled his ex-girlfriend to death.

CCTV footage taken from a pub in Clondalkin on the night of the alleged murder shows Eric Locke ordering a whiskey just before he went to the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght.

His ex-girlfriend Sonia Blount checked in just after 9pm and went to room 346 where she waited for a man she met online called Shane Cully.

But unbeknown to her, Mr Locke had assumed a false identity on Facebook and effectively lured her to the hotel that night.

CCTV footage shows him arriving just before midnight. He leaves five and a half hours later.

Garda Barry O’Mahoney told the jury he appears to deposit something outside the hotel before running away.

This morning, Garda Robert Whitty said there was a blood-stained cloth stuffed into Sonia’s mouth when he found her body on the floor of the room.

He said she was dressed and there were unused cable ties strewn across the room.

Earlier: The trial of a Dublin man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend has heard there was a blood-stained cloth stuffed inside her mouth when her body was found on the floor of a hotel room.

Eric Locke of St. John’s Park East in Clondalkin denies murdering Sonia Blount in room 346 of the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght in February 2014.

The 35-year-old admits strangling her to death but claims he was overcome by a mental disorder and did not mean to kill her.

When Garda Robert Whitty entered room 346 at the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght on February 16 2014, he said he found a woman’s motionless body lying on the floor between the bed and the window.

He said she was dressed and had a ligature mark on her neck that was consistent with a strangulation mark.

She was later identified as Sonia Blount, a 31-year-old single mother.

The court heard there was a blood-stained cloth stuffed “quite deep” into her mouth and some unused cable ties were strewn around the room.

Garda Whitty said there was a roll of black duct tape close to her body and an imitation firearm was found under the bed

It is the prosecution’s case that he lured her to the hotel by assuming a false identity online.


More in this Section

Emergency services respond to flash floods in Douglas and Cork cityEmergency services respond to flash floods in Douglas and Cork city

Rape trial hears of ‘help me’, ‘I’m hurt badly’ text messagesRape trial hears of ‘help me’, ‘I’m hurt badly’ text messages

M8 closed between Mitchelstown and Cahir due to flooding; Reports of localised flooding elsewhereM8 closed between Mitchelstown and Cahir due to flooding; Reports of localised flooding elsewhere

Varadkar’s approval rating tops 50% as Fine Gael maintain opinion poll leadVaradkar’s approval rating tops 50% as Fine Gael maintain opinion poll lead


Lifestyle

My sister Gabriella always says that during sibling whispers all I ever wanted was to be on stage.This Much I Know: Man of many talents Mike Hanrahan

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman whose husband is controlling and belittling her.Ask a counsellor: ‘My husband is so controlling – what do I do?’

Peter Dowdall branches out to take a look at the mountain ash or rowan.Rowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winter

More From The Irish Examiner