Man on trial accused of murdering woman in Dublin hotel

Eric Locke admits to strangling Sonia Blount in 2014

Man on trial accused of murdering woman in Dublin hotel

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

A man has gone on trial accused of murdering a woman in a Dublin hotel, after assuming a false identity and arranging to meet her for sex.

Eric Locke admits strangling Sonia Blount but will claim he was suffering from a mental disorder at the time and did not mean to kill her.

The body of Ms Blount, a 31-year-old single mother, was found on the floor of room 346 at The Plaza Hotel in Tallaght on February 16th 2014.

Some sort of garment had been shoved into her mouth and a post-mortem revealed she had been strangled.

The prosecuting barrister Remy Farrell told the jury she ended a brief relationship with Mr Locke the month before, and that he had threatened suicide because of it.

He said it will be alleged he assumed a false identity and contacted her through Facebook under the name 'Shane Cully' and that they arranged to meet at the hotel for a sexual encounter.

When the accused went into room 346, Mr Farrell said he had cable ties, masking tape and an air gun that looked very realistic.

Mr Locke, of St. John's Park East in Clondalkin in Dublin, admits strangling her to death but claims diminished responsibility due to a mental disorder.