Sunday 4 December 2016

Former DPP Barnes raised Bailey case issues in 'interests of justice'

Intervention of Eamonn Barnes helped spark review of evidence into murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, writes Maeve Sheehan

Published 11/12/2011 | 05:00

FIFTEEN years ago this month, Sophie Toscan du Plantier came to Ireland for a pre-Christmas getaway at her west Cork holiday home and ended up dead on her own doorstep. She was a beautiful 39-year-old French film producer, from a well-connected family and her ex-husband, Daniel Toscan, was a movie mogul in Paris.

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The case made international headlines. Her body was found at 10am on a frosty Monday morning two days before Christmas in 1996, by a neighbour. Her body, wrapped in nightclothes and boots, lay on a path outside her home in Toormore, Schull. She had broken fingers and lacerations to her arms. Her face was grotesquely bludgeoned. There was a clump of hair in her hand, and hair and blood beneath her fingernails. Forensic tests provided no clues: they only confirmed that the hair and blood found on her body was her own. A tiny sample found on her doorstep was too minuscule to be identified.

Ian Bailey emerged within weeks as the prime suspect. He was an English journalist who lived in Schull with his partner Jules Thomas, but it appears that the reasons why he became a suspect never rose above the circumstantial.

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