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Wife-killer O'Reilly's lover visits him in prison

THE lover of notorious wife-killer Joe O'Reilly shows that she is still standing by her man as she makes a Christmas visit to him in the Midlands Prison.

Our exclusive photos show Nikki Pelley walking into the jail with a child who is carrying a big white bag -- understood to be full of presents -- for the murderer who has been banged up there since July 2007.

Dressed all in black, devoted Nikki (41) shows that she is still loyal to the killer with whom she had a nine-month affair before he murdered his wife Rachel.

O'Reilly was convicted of murdering Rachel at their home in The Naul, north Co Dublin, in October, 2004, after one of the most dramatic murder trials in the history of the State.

During the 20-day trial, O'Reilly denied any involvement in the murder.

Gardai believe he beat Rachel to death with a dumbbell. The weapon has never been found.

Since Joe was caged for life for the evil murder, Nikki has remained in a relationship with him and is a regular visitor to him at the jail in Portlaoise, Co Laois.

Nikki regularly wears a ring on her wedding finger -- but she has not secretly married O'Reilly.

Our photos were taken last Saturday afternoon when Nikki arrived at the jail at 1.30pm and spent just under two hours with her lover before leaving at 3.30pm.

The couple were confident that O'Reilly would be freed on appeal in 2009, and they had already made plans to relocate abroad.

However, those plans were dashed after O'Reilly lost an appeal against his murder conviction.

At that appeal hearing a State barrister said: "He absolutely detested his wife -- he was having affairs.

"He wanted to have a permanent relationship with a lady called Nikki Pelley -- so what could he do?

"He killed his wife!"

Despite being one of Ireland's most infamous killers, jail sources say that O'Reilly's behaviour behind bars has been perfect.

"He never causes any trouble and he pretty much keeps to himself.

"Joe lives for visits from Nikki and his kids," said a jail insider.

His prison number is 42807 and O'Reilly spends much of his time in jail reading books.



loved

Advertising executive Nikki, who lives in Rathfarnham, south Dublin, gave evidence at her lover's high-profile murder trial.

She revealed that on the night O'Reilly infamously appeared on The Late Late Show to appeal to his wife's killer to come forward, he later stayed overnight at her home in Rathfarnham.

Nikki explained that she had met O'Reilly, whom she had worked with, in January of 2004 at the Barge Pub in Portobello.

They began texting and e-mailing each other and by April or May 2004 they had begun a sexual relationship.

She said O'Reilly would stay at her house in Rathfarnham two or three evenings a week.

Asked if she had ever stayed at the O'Reilly home in The Naul she said that she had, on one occasion, when Rachel O'Reilly was away.

Evidence was also heard about messages sent from Joe O'Reilly to both his wife and Nikki Pelley.

Details were heard about a series of texts sent to Ms Pelley in which he told her he loved her and missed her.

hnews@herald.ie


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