ARCHITECT Graham Dwyer began a mandatory life sentence last night for the murder of Elaine O'Hara whom he stabbed to death in the Dublin Mountains for his own sexual gratification.
The married father of three, who has been in custody since his October 2013 arrest, issued a press statement after his conviction appealing for privacy for his family. Prisoner 88335 was placed on suicide watch for a third time following the unanimous guilty verdict.
The family of Elaine O'Hara, who was murdered hours after she was discharged from an acute mental health hospital, described the last two-and-a- half years as "traumatic".
They said they were relieved at the verdict and hoped the trial and conviction would highlight the need for people to be careful when communicating online.
"We are greatly relieved that justice has been served, but we still suffer her loss and miss her greatly," they said.
Graham Dwyer's wife Gemma, who testified on behalf of the prosecution, also issued a statement expressing her condolences to the O'Hara family, and appealing for privacy for her two small children.
Shortly before the verdict was handed down, trial judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt ruled that there should be silence in court, regardless of the outcome. Afterwards he said he agreed 110pc with the jury's decision.
Jurors have been exempted from jury service for 30 years and have been offered "debriefing support with the aid of a confidential professional".