Tuesday 20 August 2019

Ian Bailey displays traits of 'borderline' personality, a court in Paris has been told

Ian Bailey denies any involvement in Ms Toscan du Plantier’s death or making any confession (Niall Carson/PA)
Ian Bailey denies any involvement in Ms Toscan du Plantier’s death or making any confession (Niall Carson/PA)

Sarah Collins in Paris

Journalist Ian Bailey displayed traits of a "borderline" personality, a Paris court heard today.

The Manchester-born Schull resident denies having murdered Sophie Toscan du Plantier on the night of 22-23 December 1996 near her holiday home in Toormore, west Cork. He is being tried (in absentia) in the French criminal court at the request of Ms du Plantier’s family.

Journalist Ian Bailey is on trial in France for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Picture: Collins
Journalist Ian Bailey is on trial in France for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Picture: Collins

Psychiatrist Jean Michel Masson and psychologist Katy Lorenzo-Regreny said Mr Bailey displayed some traits of a “borderline” personality, a disorder that can lead to extreme emotions and impulsive behaviour.

The two experts, who were not present in court, said that Mr Bailey had “no impairment” to influence him in carrying out a criminal act, and that he was not psychotic.

The psychiatric profile was ordered by the French magistrate overseeing the case in 2014, and was based on Mr Bailey’s diaries and Garda interviews following the 1996 killing.

The report concluded that Mr Bailey had a personality based on “narcissism, psycho-rigidity, violence, impulsiveness, egocentricity with an intolerance to frustration and a great need for recognition”.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Photo: Family Handout/PA Wire
Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Photo: Family Handout/PA Wire

In 2001 he was sentenced to three months in prison for assaults causing actual bodily harm. Several witnesses whose testimony was passed on to French investigators testified to his violent behaviour towards his partner, Jules Thomas - including Jules herself.

It’s the third day of a week-long trial, with the court now poring over the evidence of cuts and scratches on Mr Bailey’s hands, arms and forehead on the day of and following the killing.

Mr Bailey says got the injuries while cutting down a tree for Christmas, and while killing the holiday turkey.

Local residents Liam Driscoll, Christy Lynch, Bernie Kenny and barman John McGowan, who saw Mr Bailey in the Galley bar on the night of the murder, could not recall any cuts and scratches.

But the court heard on Wednesday that musician Richard Tisdall saw a scratch on one of Mr Bailey’s hands, but he couldn’t remember which. Gardai Kevin Kelleher and Bart O’Leary’s witness statements mentioning the cuts were read out in court earlier this week.

There was also a lengthy and exhaustive read-out of various witness statements from Mr Bailey’s partner, Jules Thomas, over the years. She testified at various times to going with Mr Bailey to the scene of the crime the morning following the murder.

The trial continues this afternoon with written statements from Mr Bailey and victim impact testimony from Ms du Plantier’s family.

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