Wednesday 21 February 2018

Bailey 'traumatised' since arrest in Sophie death case

Ian Bailey and partner Jules Thomas leave the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin yesterday
Ian Bailey and partner Jules Thomas leave the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin yesterday

Nicola Anderson

IAN Bailey yesterday claimed he has been unable to live a normal life after being implicated in the unsolved murder of a Frenchwoman 14 years ago.

The former journalist said he had suffered huge trauma since he was arrested over the killing of film maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Ireland.

Mr Bailey is fighting extradition to France, where he is wanted for questioning over the violent death of the 39-year-old from Paris.

Lawyers for Mr Bailey (53) told the High Court there was "no evidence" against their client and the request by French authorities for his extradition was "an insult to the Irish State".

Mr Bailey, who is 6'4" and powerfully built appeared in courtroom 21 wearing a navy blazer and light yellow trousers, with an almost relaxed demeanour and a sheaf of legal documents on his lap, which he perused with a keen eye. It was only two weeks ago that he graduated with an honours law degree from UCC.

Sitting closely by his side was Jules Thomas, the Welsh-born artist described yesterday by his lawyers as his "life partner".

Rail-thin in a black trouser suit, a gold and black scarf knotted elegantly at her throat, Ms Thomas looked drawn and exhausted and frequently silently mouthed something throughout the hearing, as though she were praying.

The pair shared a bottle of water throughout the morning, passing it wordlessly.

Absent in court were any members of Sophie Toscan du Plantier's family, who arrived here on Wednesday, ahead of the anniversary of her death.

Mr Bailey's barrister, Martin Giblin, claimed the French authorities never formally contacted his client and were playing a game of "cat and mouse".

Mr Bailey had participated in the Irish criminal process and took legal advice from a prominent solicitor.

He wasn't told he could, years later, face extradition under new legislation and that the French legal authorities would "extend the long reach of their arm" to this jurisdiction for proceedings begun in 1997, unbeknownst to him.

He described the request to surrender as "an insult" to the Irish legal system and the State, as well as a "profound insult" to his client's constitutional and statutory rights, acquired by the fact that the DPP had decided not to prosecute.


In his seat, Mr Bailey listened intently, leaning forward in his anxiety to catch every word.

Mr Giblin said his client had been under the impression that the DPP had made the decision not to prosecute as far back as 1997 but counsel for the State, Robert Barron, said the DPP had only taken this decision this year.

Mr Bailey had been "getting on with his life" and news of the French proceedings came as "a great shock," said Mr Giblin.

"We can't go on year after year, decade after decade, torturing people with the criminal process," he told the court.

In any event, Mr Giblin said there could be "only one result" because there was no evidence against Bailey "and "the Irish State through the appropriate authorities has said so."

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent

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