Saturday 23 September 2017

Bailey told us he knew Sophie, couple tells court

Anne Cahalane pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday after giving evidence in the High Court action for damages by Ian Bailey. Picture: Courts Collins
Anne Cahalane pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday after giving evidence in the High Court action for damages by Ian Bailey. Picture: Courts Collins

Tim Healy

IAN Bailey told two people he had met murder victim Sophie Toscan du Plantier, the High Court heard.

Anne Cahalane, who played the role of Ms Toscan du Plantier in a Crimeline reconstruction of her last movements, said he told her this during filming near Schull in Cork in mid-January 1997.

Ms Cahalane, her partner Peter Wilson, and a Crimeline film crew were on Three Castles Head, near Schull, when Mr Bailey "bounded" over, she said.

He said he was a journalist covering the story and that he knew Ms Toscan du Plantier.

Ms Cahalane was aware at that time from talk in Schull that Mr Bailey was a suspect for the murder, and made a statement to gardai in 2012 about the encounter after a newspaper reported Mr Bailey had said he did not know Ms Toscan du Plantier.

She was asked two days ago to give evidence.

Tom Creed SC, for Mr Bailey, said his client had just learned of this evidence now. Mr Bailey was denying he ever said he knew Ms Toscan du Plantier, and had asked the film crew questions because he had a journalistic interest.

Mr Wilson said he was at Three Castles Head when Mr Bailey introduced himself. He said Mr Bailey said he was a journalist working on the story, and had met Ms Toscan du Plantier.

The conversation was brief because the crew had been advised by gardai not to talk about the matter and were previously asked to stop filming in a bar until Mr Bailey left it.

An extract from the Crimeline reconstruction was played in the continuing action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State over the conduct of the investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier, whose body was found near Toormore, Schull, on December 23, 1996.

The defendants deny his claims, including wrongful arrest and conspiracy.

Earlier, a retired garda detective said he had no recollection of any "dramatic leads" emanating from statements made by a French TV producer concerning details of a former lover of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

James Bernard Hanley accepted he took statements in 1997 arising from interviews with a French producer and friend of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

Ronan Munro, for Mr Bailey, said details of those statements were "memorable" and "dramatic" and they should have been followed up.

The case resumes on Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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