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Sunday 24 September 2017

Murder victim was 'special girl' who tried to help killer

Sonia Blount
Sonia Blount

Sonia Blount's family must feel as though Eric Locke twice killed the mother-of-one.

First, when he strangled her and then by trying to destroy her reputation.

It emerged during the trial that Ms Blount had taken cocaine shortly before her death.

She was also meeting a stranger in a hotel room for sex.

It is the nature of murder trials that a person's dirty laundry gets washed in public.

Adored

Often details that emerge are not the way a person wants to be remembered, certainly not the way her family remember her.

So who was Sonia Blount? Locke told her she was "special" and gardai that she was "bubbly, fun and a great girl".

His legal team emphasised Ms Blount was a decent person who had been nice to Locke.

Ms Blount was the eldest in a family of five siblings. She had a three-year-old boy, who she adored.

She was obsessed with Game Of Thrones books and had a great DVD collection.

Her sister, Claire Reddan, said Ms Blount was in a relationship with her son's father for three years.

She said the relationship broke up when he went to Canada in August 2013.

Ms Reddan said her sister started dating Locke in November 2013, but it was "casual".

She broke up with him after an argument and told her sister she was "not going down that road again".

Locke repeatedly apologised to her and begged for forgiveness, but Ms Blount stood firm, telling him she would "not have someone talk down" to her.

When Locke went missing and threatened suicide in January 2014, Ms Blount was worried sick about him.

In the aftermath of his suicide attempt, her friends, Susan Kelly and Aisling Halloran, said Ms Blount "felt guilty", and "wanted to help him" as she was "always worrying about other people". Privately, she told her sister he was "a proper fruit loop".

However, Ms Blount's kindness meant she responded to his texts for weeks after they broke up.

She later told her sister she had become concerned about Locke's behaviour at work and was going to ask to change shifts, but she hesitated because she "didn't want to get him into trouble or lose his job".

Nerves

Shortly after Ms Blount broke off contact with Locke, she began a new flirtation with a Shane Cully, who had befriended her on Facebook.

It started off as banter but became more intimate and they arranged to meet for sex.

In her messages to Shane Cully, Ms Blount said she was "sick with nerves" about the liaison as she had never done anything like it before.

In earlier texts, when Cully asked Ms Blount what was the wildest thing she had ever done, she admitted she was not "all that crazy".

Sadly, that decision to meet Shane Cully ultimately cost Ms Blount her life.

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