A Clondalkin man has been found guilty of murdering his ex girlfriend at The Plaza Hotel in Tallaght. 35 year old Eric Locke of St John’s Park East denied murder and claimed he was suffering from a mental disorder at the time which he argued diminished his responsibility.
The jury deliberated for just over an hour and a half, and there were screams of 'yes' in the courtroom when the 'guilty of murder verdict' was read out.
Locke said 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry.' in the direction of the victim's family and friends as he was being led away.
Sonia Blount's body was found in Room 346 of the Plaza Hotel on the 16th of February 2014.
When gardai discovered her, they noted a ‘do not disturb' sign was on the door handle, an air gun was on the bed and duct tape and cables ties were strewn on the floor. She had been strangled by Eric Locke’s hands and a phone charger and her own top had been shoved in her mouth.
The court heard the 31 year old had dated Eric Locke briefly but he didn’t cope when their relationship ended.
He kept messaging her after the break up and when she didn’t respond - he started contacting her using a fake Facebook profile and he lured Sonia Blount to the Plaza Hotel by pretending to be another man.
Eric Locke told gardai he didn’t mean to kill Sonia Blount and only wanted to talk to her.
Two psychiatrist for the defence said he had a pervasive developmental disorder and this diminished his responsibility on the night of the killing. But the prosecution expert said Eric Locke had been motivated by revenge.
The 35 year old will be handed the mandatory life sentence on Friday.