Tuesday 12 December 2017

Journals reveal the inner thoughts of a sex-obsessed, violent, heavy drinker

Ralph Riegel

BIZARRE, rambling and sensational, Ian Bailey's personal diaries proved a bombshell at his high-profile 2003 libel case against eight newspapers.

There had been strenuous objections to the diaries being entered into evidence at Cork Circuit Civil Court but Judge Patrick Moran granted the newspapers, from Britain and Ireland, permission to use them in their defence.

The revelations from their pages dominated headlines for weeks to come and cast Bailey in an astonishing light.

They contained confessions of brutal violence against his partner, Welsh artist Jules Thomas; self-critical passages that almost amount to self- loathing; numerous accounts of sexual fantasies; accounts of excessive drinking and drug use as well as repeated frustrations at his inability to carve out the career of poet.

The gardai seized the diaries in February 1997, believing they might shed light on the killing of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39).

They did no such thing. One of the few references to the killing suggests Bailey feared he might be framed.

He repeatedly wrote that he was innocent and that he couldn't understand why he was a suspect.

In a poem written after the murder, Bailey imagines his dead father sending him messages: "Saying, what about you son?" To which Bailey replies: "Father, I'm in a right f***ed-up mess again."

He ends the poem saying: "I have nothing to do with this murder. Ultimately there is and can be no evidence, unless it is invented, to connect me to (a) crime I did not commit."

The diaries paint a stark picture of a man deeply unhappy with his life, prone to alcohol-fuelled bouts of violence and periods of self-pity.

The accounts of his violence towards his partner proved especially damaging as they were forensically examined during the libel hearing.

Bailey admitted in court he was "deeply ashamed" after he assaulted Ms Thomas in 1993, 1996 and again in 2001. After the 1996 assault, Ms Thomas's lip was severed from her gum, her eye was bruised to the "size of a grapefruit" and clumps of hair missing from her head.

In a letter to Ms Thomas, detailed in one diary entry, he begged her forgiveness.

"When I face charges of assault against you, you know I have lost you. I have lost my home and the future I had worked so hard to establish here."

Later in his diary, he expressed remorse and blamed the assault on alcohol.

"I have destroyed my own destiny and future to the point where I can see in destroying you, I destroy me. Only time will tell, but in doing what I did, I believe I am damned to hell."

Other diary entries deal with Mr Bailey's sex fantasies with some entries dealing in detail with imagined sex situations and an orgy.

"I am totally obsessed with sex, I love my drugs and I adore alcohol. I think there is little hope of redemption in this life," he wrote.

Irish Independent

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