I'll see you at the funeral, lover told murder accused a day after death
Passionate texts sent between the couple, court hears
Published 19/01/2010 | 05:00
PASSIONATE text messages sent to Eamonn Lillis from his mistress were read aloud in court yesterday as his trial heard that phone contact between the pair had "intensified" in the month of his wife's brutal death.
The court heard Mr Lillis and masseuse Jean Treacy had arranged a clandestine meeting on the morning of Celine Cawley's death.
Ms Treacy texted Mr Lillis four times that morning and said she was "worried" after she didn't hear back from him, the court was told. It was also revealed through the text messages that Ms Treacy intended to go to Celine's funeral.
She told him they should not have "any contact" until things had calmed down and to focus on his teenage daughter in the wake of his wife's death.
On the night before the death, a partial message found on Ms Treacy's phone, sent to Mr Lillis at 10.57pm, read: "Transporter Three. Love Jason Stretham. You staying at home tomorrow? K going to office for part of the morning. Can I meet you somewhere? Miss you so much."
Some time later, she sent another message to Mr Lillis that read: "No pressure though OK baby x."
A further message sent that night read: "Well as usual I'll have to play it by ear. Night my angel. Love you infinitely. Sleep well x."
Ms Treacy sent a blank text to him the next morning at 9.44am, the day of Celine's death. Another text was sent at 9.53am saying: "Keep ML if you can."
At 10.26am she queried by text: "Everything ok?" and again at 11.14am she sent him a text saying: "Getting a bit worried now babe."
Gardai investigated two handsets and three sim cards connected to Mr Lillis and a further two mobile phones connected to Jean Treacy, the masseuse with whom he had been having a 10-week affair.
Detective Garda Patrick Connell told the trial at the Central Criminal Court yesterday that the first message had been sent on November 2, 2008. From then until December 15, the day of Celine Cawley's death, the phone traffic between them had increased, with both text messages and calls.
He agreed that the tenor of the messages found on Ms Treacy's phone seemed to be that a meeting was to have been set up on the morning of December 15, 2008, and he also agreed that the texts sent on that morning were all "one-way traffic".
The day after Ms Cawley was found dead on the patio outside her home at Rowan Hill, Windgate Road in Howth, Ms Treacy texted Mr Lillis: "I want you to know I still feel the exact same ok. I'll keep those appointments for you in case you need them. I'll see you at the funeral."
She sent one final text that same night. It read: "Best of luck with everything always. You need to concentrate on ... and what's happening to you. To do this I don't think we should have any contact till things have calmed down (for both our sakes). I know you'll understand. Everyone is looking for a story. This is not an easy decision for me to make. Will be thinking of you every step of the way X."
Data showed there were 86 text messages, 18 calls and four multi-media messages between Ms Treacy and Mr Lillis in the month of November.
In December, she sent him 67 messages and called him 66 times from her second phone while Mr Lillis sent her 145 messages and 19 calls and one call and one message on his business phone -- a total of 212 texts and 56 calls between them in the fortnight before his wife's death.
Just two texts from Mr Lillis were recovered by forensic scientist Dr Stephen Doak.
On the day before his wife's death, Mr Lillis sent a text to Ms Treacy at 12.17pm that read: "Am in car with ... Will contact you in 30 x."
Soon after he texted: "Hi my love thanks for text. On my way home from stables. C is taking car back to get ... to see horse. I really miss you my baby. Call or text asap. I love you."
Dr Doak, who also analysed blood spatter on the outside wall of the Lillis house, said the patterns of staining indicated a blood-stained round object, which may have been a head, had struck the edge of the sliding patio doors. He believed this had been a different incident to the blood pooling found on the patio deck -- though perhaps only seconds or minutes apart.
The case continues.