Tuesday 22 August 2017

Murder accused's text pleading with victim for 'one last chance'

Stock photo
Stock photo

Eimear Cotter

A former model accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend to death sent her a series of texts pleading with her to forgive him and give their relationship "one last chance", a jury has heard.

Mother-of-one Sonia Blount broke up with her former boyfriend Eric Locke (35) after he made disparaging comments about her during an argument.

In the texts, Mr Locke declared his love for Ms Blount (31), accepted he had "acted like a d*ck" and begged her to give him one final chance.

She told Mr Locke he was "a lovely bloke with a good heart", but she refused to rekindle the relationship, telling him "leave me be" and "I'm done".

Mr Locke has admitted he caused the death of Ms Blount at The Plaza Hotel in Tallaght in February 2014, but he has denied her murder.

Yesterday a taxi driver told the court Mr Locke had said to him "I won't be going there again" when he picked him up outside The Plaza Hotel around 5.30am on February 16, 2014.

Ian McEvoy said there were "very noticeable" fingernail scraps on the accused's face.

Mr McEvoy said Mr Locke told him he had been in the nightclub and was dancing with a girl when her boyfriend came over and gave him a few smacks.

The taxi driver told the court he said "you're going to have to explain that to everybody", and Mr Locke just shrugged.

The court was also told by forensic scientist Marce Lee Gorman that DNA matching Mr Locke was found under Ms Blount's fingernails.

It is the State's case that Mr Locke assumed a false identity on social media and lured Ms Blount to a hotel bedroom where he strangled her to death.

A series of text messages between the pair, from January and February 2014, were read out to the jury at the Central Criminal Court.

Prosecutor Remy Farrell SC said the couple had gone to a gig on January 11, 2014, and there had been an argument.

In Mr Locke's messages he told Sonia: "I feel awful about what I said to you" and "I'm so, so sorry, I acted like a d**k".

The jury was read a long series of messages between the pair, in which he begged her to forgive him, saying that he got "a little insecure".

He told her his "stomach was in knots", he had hurt her and called her "a special person".

However Ms Blount responded, saying he had called her "mad" and she "just won't take s**t like that again".

In the texts, she also told him "please now, just stop".

In January 13, 2014, the jury heard Mr Locke had walked out of work - and she repeatedly texted asking him to contact his family.

Mr Locke later said he was severely depressed and was getting help in hospital.

He asked Ms Blount if she would still be with him when he got sorted out, adding: "All I wanted was for you to hug me yesterday".

Ms Blount replied: "Just stop now Eric, I'm done".

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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