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'Sonia paid for an error of judgement with her life' - family of murder victim urge caution on social media

Sonia Blount was murdered by Eric Locke at the Plaza Hotel in Tallaght, after being lured there by a fake Facebook profile, in 2014.

90330754_90330754 The Plaza Hotel in Tallaght, where Eric Locke murdered Sonia Blount, after luring her there via a fake Facebook profile Mark Stedman Mark Stedman

THE FAMILY OF Sonia Blount has urged social media users to be cautious and aware online, saying Sonia had paid for an error of judgement with her life.

The warning followed the jailing for life of the man who murdered her after using a fake Facebook profile to lure her to a Dublin hotel room.

Family friend Liz Gaffney spoke outside court following Eric Locke’s sentencing. She thanked the legal team for its hard work, the gardaí for their diligence and meticulous work, Sonia’s friends and her colleagues at Henkel Loctite for all their support.

“A special word of warning to everybody using social media sites. We urge you to please be cautious and be aware,” she said.

It is so easy to set up false profiles. Sonia made an error of judgement and paid for this with her life.

She thanked Justice Michael Moriarty and the jury for its “unanimous, timely decision and for seeing her murderer for the lying, manipulative person he is”.

“For this, the family is so grateful,” she said.

She noted however, that the verdict would never bring her friend back.

“Sonia was an innocent, beautiful, kind, caring person and mother, who is sadly missed by all of us who knew her and loved her,” she said.

Detective Superintendent Brian Sutton spoke on behalf of An Garda Síochána.

“Our thoughts and our prayers are with the family of Sonia Blount today,” he said.

It was a difficult investigation, and I hope the outcome of the court case has brought some bit of closure in relation to the tragic circumstances and events that they’ve been through.

He said the force was pleased with the investigation.

“A lot of work went into it,” he said.

He thanked the witnesses who came forward, the staff in the Plaza Hotel, and the family who he said had given a good background and assisted them with the result.

Read: ‘Mammy had to go to heaven’: Eric Locke sentenced to life in prison for murdering Sonia Blount

Read: ‘What the f**k do you think we’re here for?’: Woman says Tinder date raped her in mountains

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