Dublin man handed life sentence for murdering ex-girlfriend

Gardaí say they hope the outcome has 'brought some bit of closure' to Sonia Blount's family

Dublin man handed life sentence for murdering ex-girlfriend

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

A Dublin man has been handed a life sentence for murdering his ex-girlfriend in a hotel room in Tallaght in February 2014.

Eric Locke of St John's Park East in Clondalkin claimed he was suffering from a mental illness when he killed Sonia Blount but the jury did not believe him.

Claire Reddin's voice quivered and her hands trembled as she delivered an emotional Victim Impact Statement at Locke's sentence hearing.

She described her sister, Sonia, as a doting mother who idolised her son and did everything to make sure he was happy and secure.

She told the court how hard it was to tell him his Mammy had to go to heaven and was an angel now.

In the dock just over her right shoulder, Locke blinked away tears.

On Monday, he was found guilty of murder.

The court heard he strangled Sonia after luring her to the Plaza hotel in Tallaght through a fake Facebook profile.

After the victim impact statements were read out, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty asked Locke to stand in the dock before he handed down the mandatory life sentence for murder.

Outside court afterwards, Detective Superintendent Brian Sutton said a few words on behalf of the gardaí who investigated the murder.

He said: "Our thoughts and our prayers are with the family of Sonia Blount today.

"It was a difficult investigation, and I hope that the outcome of the court case has brought some bit of closure in relation to the tragic circumstances and event that they've been through."