herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Bailey told me he met Sophie, actress claims

IAN Bailey told two people he had met murder victim Sophie Toscan du Plantier, the High Court heard.

Anne Cahalane, who played the role of Ms Toscan du Plantier in a 'Crimeline' reconstruction of the French woman's last movements, said he told her this during filming at a walk near Schull in Cork in mid-January 1997.

Ms Cahalane, her partner Peter Wilson, and a Crimeline film-crew were on Three Castles Head, near Schull, when Mr Bailey "bounded" over, she said.

He said he was a journalist covering the story, that he knew Ms Toscan du Plantier and had met her on the walk to Three Castles Head.

Ms Cahalane was aware at that time of talk in Schull Mr Bailey was a suspect for the murder and made a statement to gardai in 2012 about the encounter after a newspaper reported Mr Bailey had said he did not know Ms Toscan du Plantier. She was asked two days ago to give evidence.

Tom Creed SC, for Mr Bailey, said his client had just learned of this evidence now. Mr Bailey was denying he ever said he knew Ms Toscan du Plantier and had asked the film crew questions because he had a journalistic interest.

Ms Cahalane insisted Mr Bailey had said he knew Ms Toscan du Plantier.

Peter Wilson, Ms Cahalane's partner, said he was at Three Castles Head when Mr Bailey introduced himself, said he was a journalist working on the story, had met Ms Toscan du Plantier on that walk and knew her.

The conversation was brief because the crew had been advised by gardai not to talk about the matter and were previously asked to stop filming in a bar until Mr Bailey left it.

His understanding from what Mr Bailey said was he knew Ms du Plantier otherwise than meeting her on the walk. An extract from the Crimeline reconstruction was played in the continuing action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State over the conduct of the investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier whose body was found near Toormore, Schull, on December 23, 1996.

LOVER

The defendants deny his claims, including wrongful arrest and conspiracy.

Earlier, a retired garda detective said he had no recall of any "dramatic leads" emanating from statements made by a French TV producer concerning details of a former lover of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

James Bernard Hanley accepted he took statements in January 1997 arising from interviews with a French producer and friend of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

Ronan Munro, for Mr Bailey, said details of those statements were "memorable" and "dramatic" and they should have been followed up.

The case resumes on Tuesday.

hnews@herald.ie

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