Trial hears graphic details of Dublin hotel killing

Eric Locke admits killing Sonia Blount but claims diminished responsibility

Trial hears graphic details of Dublin hotel killing

File photo of the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght, Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

The trial of a man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend in a hotel room has heard she died from a lack of oxygen due to being gagged and strangled.

Eric Locke of St. John's Park East, Clondalkin in Dublin denies murdering Sonia Blount in the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght in February 2014.

Ms Blount was dressed when her body was found on the floor of Room 346 in the Plaza Hotel.

The State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy told the jury her black jeans were buttoned and zipped but were low down over her hips.

The prosecuting barrister Remy Farrell said there was a suggestion Mr Locke may have dressed her after he killed her.

Prof Cassidy said that would have been difficult after she died.

She said there was evidence of recent sexual activity, but she said there was no way of knowing if it had been consensual.

She said Ms Blount's death was due to strangulation and could have been a combination of manual and ligature strangulation.

She accepted the cable of a mobile phone charger found next to her body could have been used and said the placing of a gag in her mouth would have also contributed to her death.

CCTV footage

Earlier, the trial was shown CCTV footage of the accused man running from the hotel.

The footage taken from a pub in Clondalkin on the night of the alleged murder shows Mr Locke ordering a whiskey just before he went to the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght.

CCTV footage shows him arriving just before midnight. He leaves five and a half hours later.

Garda Barry O'Mahoney told the jury he appears to deposit something outside the hotel before running away.