| 12.4°C Dublin

Wife killer O'Reilly plots life abroad with lover

NOTORIOUS wife killer Joe O' Reilly will move abroad with mistress Nikki Pelley when he is released from prison, his brother has revealed.

Advertising executive Nikki still dotes on O'Reilly and regularly visits him in the Midlands Prison where he is serving a life sentence for the 2004 murder of his wife Rachel.

It is believed that the couple had plans to set up a new life in Canada before O'Reilly was charged and ultimately convicted of his Rachel's murder.

In an interview on the TV3 documentary series Behind The Crime: The Untold Stories, which airs tonight at 9pm, O'Reilly's brother Derek says: "Nikki obviously loves Joe.

"She is still standing by him, she believes in him, she believes in his innocence.

"Nikki is not a stupid woman, she is a very bright, intelligent woman. I don't think any woman would be with anybody if they thought they were capable of doing what Joe has been convicted of."

Derek O'Reilly also reveals that he knew that his brother was having an affair with Nikki in the weeks before Rachel was murdered.

But he now says he wishes he had told tragic Rachel about the secret relationship.

He explains: "He was seeing somebody else and obviously I became aware of it as time progressed.


"Part of me wanted to say to Rachel, 'Listen, this is what's happening, I thought you should know'.

"And the other part of me was thinking, 'Am I better to talk to him? Say this is what you have, this is what you could lose, this is what I think you should do.'

"But as things progressed I didn't have much time to do that, things were taken out of my hands."

O'Reilly was convicted of murdering Rachel in July 2007 after a dramatic murder trial -- he has been locked up ever since. Rachel was bludgeoned to death at their home in the Naul, north Co Dublin, in October, 2004.

Derek points out that the trial in Dublin's Central Criminal Court was an ordeal for his family. He says: "The whole thing was just a complete and utter circus. People were bringing packed lunches with them, flasks and drinks and sandwiches -- it was like they were going to the movies.

"When you were leaving the courts at the end of the day's proceedings you were hearing people driving past and shouting obscenities at you.

"It was a horrible time and I don't ever want to go through anything like that again -- nobody would I ever wish anything like that on, nobody."

In the TV documentary, Derek also bizarrely tells how O'Reilly had hoped to be a garda. Derek says: "Believe it or not Joe wanted to be a garda. He had all the attributes to be one."