Trial of Clondalkin man accused of murdering Tallaght mother enters day two

The trial of a Clondalkin man charged with the murder of a Tallaght mother-of-one in the Plaza Hotel in 2014 enters its second day today at the Central Criminal Court.

Eric Locke (35) of St John’s Park East in Clondalkin admitted he caused the death of Sonia Blount in the hotel room on February 16, 2014 but has denied he murdered her.

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In opening statements yesterday, Remy Farrell SC said the jury would be asked to focus on the mental state of the accused and not on the 'who done it'.

Mr Locke and Ms Blount had been involved in a brief relationship in late 2013, but after it ended, the accused assumed a false identity and began communications with the victim through Facebook.

Mr Locke, under the false identity of a man called Shane Cully, then arranged to meet Ms Blount at the hotel where he brought cable ties, masking tape and an airgun.

Ms Blount’s remains were found lying on the floor of the hotel room. There was a garment in her mouth and she had died by asphyxiation and strangulation.

In a later interview conducted by Gardai, Mr Locke admitted he had strangled the victim when she became upset after seeing the items he had brought. According to Mr Locke he panicked and strangled her but he did not mean to kill her.

The trial began with Gardai from the Mapping Section giving evidence, while staff from the Plaza Hotel also gave evidence in relation to finding Ms Blount’s body lying on the floor of the room.

The trial continues today at the Central Criminal Court.

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