Wednesday 24 January 2018

'Mistress' to take stand in Lillis trial

New photos of victim published


Jean Treacy, the massage therapist who had an "exciting" love affair with Eamonn Lillis, is expected to give evidence at his murder trial at the Central Criminal Court this week.

Mr Lillis, 52, is charged with the murder of his wife Celine Cawley, 46, at their home in Howth, Dublin, on December 15, 2008. He denies the charge.

The accused man embarked on an intimate relationship with Ms Treacy, now 32, 10 weeks before the killing of his wife from blunt-force trauma to the head.

The emergency services found Ms Cawley on the patio at the rear of her home with -- in the words of a Garda detective -- her "head beaten in with a concrete block".

The Sunday Independent today publishes exclusive photographs of Ms Cawley, two taken when she was a young model and aspiring actress, the other taken shortly before her death when she was a successful business woman.

The court heard last week that Ms Cawley was a "ruthlessly competitive" business woman.

As managing director of Toytown Productions, she earned €500,000 a year, while her husband, who was employed by the company, earned €100,000 a year.

The trial of Mr Lillis for murder has attracted significant media attention, as anticipated by Mr Justice Barry White, who told the jury at the outset not to discuss the case with anybody.

That attention is this week expected to focus on Ms Treacy, who has been described in court as the "mistress". She entered into a relationship with him nine months before she was herself due to marry her fiance.

The relationship between Mr Lillis and Ms Treacy came to the attention of gardai shortly after Ms Cawley's body was found at their home, known as Rowan Hill, at Windgate Road, Howth.

At the time, Ms Treacy worked as a massage therapist at Howth Haven, a beauty clinic and spa, where Mr Lillis attended weekly for treatment to his back.

The case has heard how, during a treatment, Mr Lillis asked Ms Treacy what she was thinking. She took his hand, placed it on her pulse and said: "That is what I am thinking about." On his next visit the couple kissed.

Mr Lillis and Ms Treacy then became involved in a love affair during which they had sex in his family home on three occasions, and also in his car at locations such as the Pavillions Shopping Centre in Swords and Newbridge House and Farm in north Dublin.

When interviewed by gardai, it was put to Mr Lillis: "You met a 31-year-old girl who wanted to have sex with you every day in exciting places." Mr Lillis replied: "no comment."

The court has heard that Ms Treacy gave a statement to gardai claiming that Mr Lillis told her that his marriage to Ms Cawley was unhappy. She also claimed that she and Mr Lillis had discussed the possibility of his divorce from Ms Cawley.

Another as-yet-unidentified witness has given a statement to gardai that the marriage of Mr Lillis and Ms Cawley was "sexless", an arrangement that had "suited them both".

In an interview with gardai after he was arrested, Mr Lillis denied that he discussed with Ms Treacy the possibility of him leaving his wife.

The trial has also heard of how gardai found a note on Mr Lillis's bedside locker. The note read: "She will get that wedding dress. She will marry Keith in June. She will send out the invites in January. You will never be with her properly. The only way to be with her is to live here. Think of the positives in the relationship. You will never take her to France. She will never share your bed. You are running out of time!!!"

Sunday Independent

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