Man who lured ex-girlfriend to hotel claims death was accidental

Eric Locke of St. John’s Park East in Clondalkin set up a fake Facebook account to lure Sonia Blount to the hotel

Man who lured ex-girlfriend to hotel claims death was accidental

The Plaza Hotel in Tallaght, Dublin, where Sonia Blount's body was found. Photo: /RollingNews.ie

A Dublin man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend in a hotel room told Gardaí he just wanted to frighten her and never meant to kill her.

Eric Locke of St. John’s Park East in Clondalkin set up a fake Facebook account to lure Sonia Blount to the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght in 2014.

Mr Locke handed himself in to Gardaí on Feb 16th 2014 – a few hours after Sonia Blount’s body was found on the floor of room 346 at the Plaza Hotel.

Over the course of a number of interviews the following day, he spoke about how upset he was when contact between them ceased after their brief relationship ended the month before.

He admitted setting up a fake Facebook account under the name Shane Cully to make contact with her.

She thought she was meeting this person on the night in question and Mr. Locke said she looked very shocked when he walked into the room.

He said they were talking calmly and ended up having consensual sex.

When he took some cable ties, masking tape and a pellet gun out of his pockets, he said she started screaming, and he just panicked and strangled her.

He remembered her asking “Eric what are you doing?”

He denied raping her and while he did confess to killing her, he also denied it was murder and said he never intended for her to die.