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Sunday 25 June 2017

'Give me one last chance', murder accused begged ex before her death

Eric Locke is accused of murdering ex-girlfriend Sonia Blount
Eric Locke is accused of murdering ex-girlfriend Sonia Blount

A former model accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend to death sent her a series of texts pleading with her to forgive him and give their relationship "one last chance", a jury has heard.

Mother-of-one Sonia Blount broke up with Eric Locke (35) after he made disparaging comments about her during an argument.

In the texts, Mr Locke declared his love for Ms Blount (31), accepted he had "acted like a d*ck" and begged her to give him one final chance.

She told Mr Locke he was "a lovely bloke with a good heart", but refused to rekindle the relationship, telling him "leave me be" and "I'm done".

Lured

Mr Locke has admitted he caused the death of Ms Blount at The Plaza Hotel in Tallaght in February 2014, but he has denied her murder.

He had been in a brief relationship with Ms Blount but it fizzled out and he did not take the break-up well.

It is the State's case that Mr Locke assumed a false identity on social media and lured Ms Blount to a hotel bedroom where he strangled her to death.

A series of text messages between the pair, from January and February 2014, were read out to the jury at the Central Criminal Court.

Prosecutor Remy Farrell said the couple had gone to a gig on January 11, 2014, and there had been an argument.

In Mr Locke's messages he told Sonia: "I feel awful about what I said to you" and "I'm so, so sorry, I acted like a d**k".

The court heard Mr Locke claimed he made the comments "to get emotion out" of Ms Blount, as he did not know how she felt about him.

The jury was read a long series of messages, in which he begged her to forgive him, saying he was "a little insecure".

He told her his "stomach was in knots", he had hurt her and called her "a special person".

However, Ms Blount responded, saying he had called her "mad" and she "just won't take s**t like that again".

In the texts, she also told him "please now, just stop".

In texts sent on January 13, 2014, the jury heard Mr Locke had walked out of work, where Ms Blount was also employed.

She messaged asking if he was OK, and he later told her he was "checking out".

Later that day, Mr Locke texted her to say he was in a hotel room with a rope, and told her to "take care".

Six hours later he texted again asking her to meet him, telling her he could not do it and was "really on edge".

Mr Locke then revealed he was severely depressed and getting help in hospital.

He asked Ms Blount if she would still be with him when he got sorted out, adding: "All I wanted was for you to hug me."

Ms Blount replied: "Just stop now Eric, I'm done."

Smacks

Earlier, a taxi driver told the court Mr Locke had said to him "I won't be going there again" when he picked him up outside The Plaza Hotel around 5.30am on February 16, 2014.

Ian McEvoy said there were "very noticeable" fingernail scrapes on the accused's face.

Mr McEvoy said Mr Locke told him he had been in the nightclub and was dancing with a girl when her boyfriend came over and gave him a few smacks.

The court was also told by forensic scientist Marce Lee Gorman that DNA matching Mr Locke was found under Ms Blount's fingernails.

The trial continues.

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