Man sentenced to life for 'wardrobe body' murder of Christopher Jackson
A Dublin man has been sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to the murder of a man whose body was found in a wardrobe in 2012.
Christopher Jackson was stabbed to death in his Dublin flat almost two years ago on 7 September.
Bernard Locke (41), from Ramillies Road Ballyfermot pleaded guilty to the murder of Christopher Jackson (53) two weeks ago.
Conor Devally SC, prosecuting confirmed with Detective Garda Michael Donlon that Mr Locke had pleaded guilty to a single count of murder.
Mr Devally went on to confirm that Bernard Locke had conceded the he was guilty immediately after he was arrested.
“Mr Jackson’s body was discovered in his own flat on Prussia Street wrapped in duvet covers,” said Mr Devally.
“Mr Jackson had been the subject of multiple stabbings. Bernard Locke conceded he was guilty of the killing immediately upon arrest.”
“In six garda interviews, he accepted responsibility that he had descended to the lower flat and had stabbed Mr Jackson through the heart severing a rather significant artery.”
“He had brought Mr Jackson to the kitchen where between continuing to stab him, he administered countless wounds. In interviews with the gardai Mr Locke said, ‘I will make it easy for you to understand’.”
“Mr Locke said he found Mr Jackson annoying, and that he was ‘somebody with an attitude’. Bernard Locke had stated Mr Jackson did nothing at the doorway to bring about being stabbed.”
“Deputy State Pathology, Dr Michael Curtis description said that the first wound would have been enough to be fatal. There had been a mild fracture when the skull was penetrated and some wounds in the back going through to the lung area. In his own evidence there had been in the region of 70 stab wounds.”
“Steps had been taken to secrete the body. There had been some spraying with bleach and even shampoo on the walls. Mr Locke had made efforts to remove the body from the scene, which caused police to be tipped off. He was drunk until the evening before his arrest.”
Mr Devally said that Bernard Locke had 40 previous convictions including one for assault causing serious harm in which he had used a knife.
Victim Impact Statement
A victim impact statement was delivered by Mr Devally on behalf of Christopher Jackson’s daughter Nadine Clifford.
He said that Ms Clifford felt she had been robbed of a father.
“I feel Bernard Locke robbed me of my father. Dad will miss out on my wedding and any children I may have. I will have to attend some form of counselling and will never have full closure.”
“I no longer have my father in my life – no one will ever replace him. I feel it is very unfair.”
“I do not go to church anymore and I find it upsetting going to the city centre.”
“It was two days after my 21rst birthday when I heard – I don’t celebrate it anymore.”
“I used to have an outgoing personality. This court case is bringing back all the emotions and I cant go to court as a result.”
“While I feel some comfort that he (Bernard Locke) was man enough to admit to the crime, he will eventually be released from prison while my father is in the grave.”
Aileen Donnelly SC for defence of Bernard Locke said that Mr Locke had hoped that his guilty plea would be accepted as remorse.
“He (Bernard Locke) did regret and co-operated in interviews saying ‘when am I going to be charged’. He hopes the guilty plea will be accepted as remorse.”
“There was a huge amount of drink involved. Efforts to get rid of the body were flimsy.
“Mr Locke pleaded guilty and acknowledged responsibility.”
Mr Justice Paul Carney sentenced Bernard Locke to the mandatory sentence of imprisonment for life from 8 September 2012.