Sunday 18 March 2018

Doctor says murder accused could be a 'compulsive liar'

Victim: Sonia Blount
Victim: Sonia Blount

Eimear Cotter

A man accused of strangling his former girlfriend to death may well be a "compulsive liar", a jury has heard.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Sean Ó Domhnaill was giving evidence on behalf of murder accused Eric Locke. Mr Locke (35) has admitted he caused the death of Sonia Blount but says he didn't intend to kill her and is pleading the defence of diminished responsibility.

It is the State's case that Mr Locke, of St John's Park East in Clondalkin, Dublin, posed as another man on Facebook and arranged a meeting with Ms Blount in the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght, where he strangled her to death. Her body was found in a room in the hotel on February 16, 2014.

In cross examination, Dr Ó Domhnaill said it was "contradictory" that Mr Locke told him he had a hazy memory of killing Ms Blount, but had given gardaí an account of the injuries she inflicted on him.

He had doubts, he said, about whether or not Mr Locke did not remember killing her and it was "probable" he had lied about this.

Dr Ó Domhnaill said he believed Mr Locke did not go to the hotel room with the intent to murder Ms Blount, but he did believe he intended to quieten her when she screamed.

Eric Locke
Eric Locke

He said Mr Locke told him he "panicked when Ms Blount panicked and started to scream" after she saw the cable ties and duct tape fall out of the bag he was carrying.

"Would it surprise you the CCTV shows Mr Locke had no bag with him when he went to the bedroom," asked Mr Farrell. "There was no bag. Mr Locke was telling whopping lies."

Earlier, Dr Ó Domhnaill said the dressing of Ms Blount's body was "incongruous" and only Mr Locke's explanation made sense, that he "wanted to leave her, in death, her dignity".

Mr Farrell suggested Mr Locke could have dressed Ms Blount's body to hide that she was naked when she died. "I don't know why he'd that. It would be a pointless exercise", Dr Ó Domhnaill said.

Mr Farrell put it to the psychiatrist he had based his report on Mr Locke's account of what had happened, which was "lies".

Dr Ó Domhnaill accepted it was "possible" Mr Locke had lied to him, and he may be "a compulsive liar".

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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