Lover Nikki visits wife-killer Joe after he loses final bid for freedom

NewsBy Eamon Dillon
Nikki Pelley arrives at Arbour Hill Prison during the week
Nikki Pelley arrives at Arbour Hill Prison during the week

Joe O’Reilly’s loyal girlfriend Nikki Pelley yesterday paid a lonely prison to comfort the devastated wife-killer - just days after he lost his bid for freedom.

O’Reilly was able to take comfort from Nikki’s devotion after losing his last-ditch bid to overturn his conviction for murdering his wife Rachel on Monday.

Nikki has been unswervingly loyal to the married man she fell for and stood by through his murder trial, conviction and life stretch behind bars.  She has vowed top wait for him despite various failed legal appeals.

O’Reilly’s transfer to the easier regime at Arbour Hill prison on Dublin’s north-side also means a shorter trip for her from her city home.

Despite his continued attempts to over turn his 2007 murder conviction O’Reilly has settled down to life behind bars.

Nikki has been unswervingly loyal to the married man she fell for

And Nikki has stood by her man since Rachel was bludgeoned to death at her home in The Naul, County Dublin in 2004.

The 45-year-old advertising executive is allowed to have unscreened visits with him.

O’Reilly, who has never shown any remorse for killing his wife, has also kept fit behind bars and takes part in football matches at the jail.

Rachel’s mother Rose Callaly, was in court this week for the judgment on O’Reilly’s latest appeal.

She said after the judgement that her family were “thrilled” by the decision and called on O’Reilly to admit his crime.

“It would make a huge difference if he admitted he did it. I don’t think he ever will. There’s not a doubt in my mind he did it,” she said.

“It’s quite a relief. Thank God it’s turned out this way, so I’m delighted,” she added.

“Hopefully, please God, it’ll be the last. We’re very grateful we’ve continued to get justice and that’s very important to us. It’s a very big thing that we got justice,” said Rose.

The 42-year-old killer had claimed he was a victim of a miscarriage of justice but the Court of Appeal threw out the case before it could go to the Supreme Court.

Rachel’s badly beaten body was found in the bedroom of her home by her mother on October 4, 2004.

Before he was charged O’Reilly appeared on The Late Late Show to talk about his wife’s murder.

He has served almost eight years of his life sentence but because he has not admitted his guilt or shown any remorse he could face another 20 years in jail.

O’Reilly has never shown any remorse for killing his wife

O’Reilly’s latest attempt to have his conviction quashed was based on events that happened during his trial when part of the Book of Evidence was found in the jury room.

The Court of Criminal Appeal this week ruled that out was clear that the trial judge ensured O’Reilly was fully engaged and informed of what was happening.
Appeal judge George Birmingham dismissed the appeal on the grounds that to raise it as an issue now after an earlier appeal had failed was an “unacceptable strategy.”

O’Reilly did a training course with the Samaritans when he transferred to Arbour Hill in 2013 to become a ‘Listener’ or counsellor for fellow inmates.

Under the scheme it means he is available to inmates who need to talk to some one at any time, according to sources.

Inmates can request a Listener such as O’Reilly to be brought to their cell to talk at any time.

During the day he works in the prison’s kitchen and bakery, always considered as the plum jobs for jail birds.