Thursday 19 October 2017

'I didn't push my crotch at Bailey's face' - ex-garda

Retired Garda Michael Kelleher pictured leaving the Four Courts after giving evidence in the High Court action for damages by Ian Bailey.
Retired Garda Michael Kelleher pictured leaving the Four Courts after giving evidence in the High Court action for damages by Ian Bailey.
Ian Bailey outside court. Photo: Courtpix

Tim Healy

A RETIRED Garda detective inspector denied he put his leg on the table during an interview and "shoved" his crotch towards Ian Bailey's face.

Michael Kelleher also denied Mr Bailey's claim that no effort was made to verify the truth of Mr Bailey's account of various matters - including how he got scratches on his hands and arms - during the investigation into the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

He said there was "nothing untoward" in the conduct of an interview with Mr Bailey at Bandon Garda Station after his first arrest on February 10, 1997, in connection with the murder.

Suspects

He agreed there was no forensic evidence to link Mr Bailey to the murder scene.

There were more than 40 suspects during the investigation but, when he left the investigation some four months after he joined it, the only "genuine" suspect was Mr Bailey, he said.

He was giving evidence in the continuing action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State over the conduct of the investigation into the murder of Ms du Plantier, whose body was found near Toormore, Schull, on December 23, 1996.

The defendants deny all the claims, including of wrongful arrest and conspiracy to manufacture evidence.

The court was told Virginia Oliver, a daughter of Mr Bailey's partner Jules Thomas, made a statement saying Mr Bailey was violent towards her mother.

Ms Oliver had also said that Mr Bailey made a pass at her on Christmas Day 1995.

She said she could verify Mr Bailey had killed turkeys, and she had seen scratches on his hands after he cut down a Christmas tree.

Det Insp Kelleher agreed some elements of a description by Marie Farrell of a man she saw on December 21, 1996, outside her shop in Schull, such as his being five foot ten, did not match Mr Bailey.

He considered other characteristics, such as the description the man was "weird looking", could match Mr Bailey.

Mr Bailey "is a fine handsome man at times and at other times, he's weird," he said.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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