Monday 20 November 2017

Locked room filled with secrets, lies and hidden tapes

Maeve Sheehan looks at the case of Ian Bailey, the secret tapings and why they may prove so damaging for the gardai accused of fingering him as their prime suspect for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, at her west Cork holiday home 18 years ago

Jules Thomas and partner Ian Bailey. (Photo: Collins Court).
Jules Thomas and partner Ian Bailey. (Photo: Collins Court).
Sophie Toscan du Plantier
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

IAN Bailey was a freelance journalist who had moved to Schull in west Cork from England and was living there with his partner, Jules Thomas, a painter, at the time Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered. Her body was discovered two days before Christmas, 200 yards from her house. She had been beaten with a concrete block, her body sustained 50 wounds and was scratched by briars.

Ian Bailey was one of the first reporters on the scene. Gardai claimed that he had inside knowledge that a French woman had been murdered before the facts, such as her nationality, were generally known. They accused him of being untruthful and evasive about whether he knew Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Bailey had scratches on his face and hands, which he said came from cutting a Christmas tree and killing turkeys, but which they said were caused by the briars that entangled her as she struggled against her killer. They attributed a sexual motive: he had gone to her house in the early hours of the morning, she rejected his advances so he killed her.

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