Eric LockeImage copyright RTÉ
Image caption Eric Locke faces a mandatory life sentence for the murder of Sonia Blount

A 35-year-old man has been found guilty of murdering his former partner in a Dublin hotel room three years ago.

Eric Locke, of St John’s Park, Clondalkin, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Sonia Blount on 16 February 2014.

The jury delivered a unanimous guilty verdict after deliberating for more than 90 minutes.

Locke will be sentenced on Friday 2 June.

He faces a mandatory life sentence for the murder.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Locke arranged to meet Sonia Blount in a hotel room after posing online as a man called Shane Cully

The court had heard that he had assumed a false identity in order to meet his former partner in a hotel room, where he strangled her.

The court was also told that Locke wanted to frighten her but did not intend to kill her.

Ms Blount began a brief relationship with Locke in 2013.

The court heard that Locke was upset at the ending of the relationship and continued to contact Ms Blount on social media until she blocked him.

In February 2014, she was contacted on Facebook by a man called Shane Cully. She talked to him and agreed to meet him at the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght.

When she arrived, she discovered that ‘Shane Cully’ was Locke. He arrived at the meeting with cable ties, masking tape and an airgun.

He tied Ms Blount up and then strangled her with his hands and a phone cable.

The jury rejected the defence that Locke was suffering from a mental health disorder at the time of the murder.

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