Eric Locke found guilty of murder of Sonia Blount

The jury returned the verdict after deliberating for just 91 minutes

Eric Locke found guilty of murder of Sonia Blount

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A Dublin man has been found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend in a hotel room in Tallaght in February 2014.

Eric Locke of St John’s Park East in Clondalkin tried to convince the jurors he was suffering from a mental illness when he strangled Sonia Blount.

There was a collective gasp in the packed court room when the jury foreman said they’d reached a verdict after just 91 minutes of deliberations.

They found him guilty of Sonia Blount’s murder by a unanimous verdict.

He said: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” in the direction of her family and friends as he was being led away.

During his two-week trial, the court heard how he became very upset following his break up with Ms Blount.

By using a fake Facebook profile, he lured her to room 346 of the Plaza hotel in Tallaght on Feb 15th 2014 and strangled her.

One of his many psychiatrists diagnosed him as suffering from a Pervasive Developmental Disorder that would have diminished his criminal responsibility for her death, but the jury accepted the evidence of the State’s psychiatrist who believed he was motivated by “revenge”.

Afterwards, Ms Blount’s family embraced outside the court room.

Eric Locke will be handed the mandatory life sentence for murder when he returns to court on Friday.