herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Eamonn Lillis hides out in leafy UK suburb as he plans future

57-year-old, who bludgeoned his wife Celine Cawley to death with a brick, has taken refuge in his sister's home

Eamonn Lillis arrives at Southampton airport after serving his sentence for killing his wife Celine.
Eamonn Lillis arrives at Southampton airport after serving his sentence for killing his wife Celine.

EVIL wife-killer Eamonn Lillis enjoyed his first full day of freedom in his English bolthole.

The 57-year-old, who bludgeoned his wife Celine Cawley to death with a brick, has taken refuge in his sister's home in a leafy suburb of Southampton.

The millionaire thug was yesterday refusing to talk to the media, a day after his release from Wheatfield Prison in a storm of publicity.

As Lillis attempted to evade reporters at Dublin Airpot on Saturday, his only comment was: "I have served my time".

Lillis was caged for just over five years after being convicted of manslaughter for the 2008 killing of Ms Cawley. He was due to be released a day early on Friday but it's understood that he refused to sign the temporary release form when he learned of the media presence outside.

BOLT

Instead he opted to spend another night in jail and made a bolt for the airport in a taxi when he emerged the following morning. He had just one small piece of carry-on luggage for his flight that afternoon.

He made two purchases in duty-free: a number of ladies cosmetics items as well as a copy of Empire film magazine.

On landing in Southampton he was flanked by several photographers and reporters who were waiting for him. His sister met him at the airport.

He was brought to her detached home in a picturesque suburb of the small city where Lillis is taking refuge as he plans his next move. It was widely speculated that the former TV advert producer will start a new life for himself in France or Spain having taken classes in both languages while in prison.

Despite the blue skies and bright sunshine he remained indoors yesterday morning.

A young man in his early twenties emerged from the house before 8am. He returned 15 minutes later with a bag of groceries including a Sunday newspaper. The curtains and blinds in the home remained closed throughout the morning.

When the Herald visited at lunchtime his sister answered the door. She was asked if Lillis would speak to the paper but she shook her head politely and smiled as she closed the door.

Eamonn Lillis killed Ms Cawley - a former model who appeared in a Bond film - at their home at Windgate Road, Howth in December 2008. Gardai who responded to a 999 emergency call found Lillis standing over his 46-year-old wife's body.

He had originally claimed that an intruder who fled through the back garden had killed the successful businesswoman who ran a TV production company.

Detectives who grilled him put it to Lillis that an affair he was having with masseuse Jean Treacy was the reason behind the fight with Celine that led to her death. He denied any correlation between the affair and the fight.

Lillis was found guilty in February 2010 of his wife's manslaughter.

It's believed that he has a fortune of around €1.3m between sums he is due from the wind-up of his wife's company, a pension, and the sale of properties co-owned by the couple.

He fought a legal battle with Celine's family who had wanted the couple's daughter, Georgia, to inherit all her wealth rather than see the man who killed her profit from her death.

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