| 3.5°C Dublin

Ian Bailey told he'd be found dead in ditch, court hears

Close

Ian Bailey and Jules Thomas arrive at the Four Courts in Dublin for the hugely-anticipated lawsuit over the Englishman's claims that he was wrongly arrested over the murder of a French film-maker in Ireland almost two decades ago.

Ian Bailey and Jules Thomas arrive at the Four Courts in Dublin for the hugely-anticipated lawsuit over the Englishman's claims that he was wrongly arrested over the murder of a French film-maker in Ireland almost two decades ago.

PA

Ian Bailey and Jules Thomas arrive at the Four Courts in Dublin for the hugely-anticipated lawsuit over the Englishman's claims that he was wrongly arrested over the murder of a French film-maker in Ireland almost two decades ago.

A GARDA allegedly told Ian Bailey he would be "found dead in a ditch with a bullet in his head" following his arrest on suspicion of killing Sophie Toscan du Plantier, a court has heard.

Mr Bailey (57) will also claim he was jabbed repeatedly in the side as be was being taken to Bandon Garda Station following his arrest and was told: "You better get your act together."

Tom Creed SC told the jury that Mr Bailey will say gardai were "hostile and abusive", and one officer said to him: "Even if we can't pin this on you, you're finished in Ireland.

"You'll be found dead in a ditch with a bullet in the back of the head."

The High Court heard the State will deny this and all Mr Bailey's claims.

Mr Bailey claims he was wrongly arrested on suspicion of the murder of French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork in 1996.

He is suing the Garda Commissioner, the Minister for Justice and the Attorney General for damages.

In his opening to the jury, Mr Creed said gardai set about blaming Mr Bailey for a crime he did not commit, and some officers conspired to manufacture evidence with the view to having him prosecuted.

The jury heard Mr Bailey's life in the community in Schull, west Cork, had been "poisoned" by the constant feeding to the press of false allegations against him, and he became a "social pariah".

Mr Creed said that even when the DPP refused to prosecute Mr Bailey due to insufficient evidence, gardai tried to put pressure on the State Solicitor to get then Minister for Justice John O'Donoghue to pressurise the DPP to prosecute him.

He said the constant feeding of false information to the media linking Mr Bailey to the murder, which could only come from An Garda Siochana, resulted in the community in Schull feeling under threat and in fear.

intimidating

Mr Creed said the line that was peddled to the media and the DPP by gardai was that the suspect, who everyone knew was Mr Bailey, would kill again.

He also said gardai told Mr Bailey's partner, artist Jules Thomas, that he had admitted to the killing, and he asked the jury to imagine how she felt when she was told that.

However, there was "not one screed of evidence" linking Mr Bailey to the acclaimed French film-maker's murder, said Mr Creed.

The jury was told that key witness Marie Farrell will say she was pressurised by gardai into making 14 fictitious statements about Mr Bailey as a threatening and intimidating man.

Mr Creed said Ms Farrell will say she was told she would be prosecuted for wasting garda time if she withdrew her statements.

She will also say she gave false evidence to a libel trial under pressure from gardai.

Mr Creed said that Mr Bailey believes he can only get to the truth through this civil action.

He said it was not just a claim for damages, but that Mr Bailey was asking the jury to look at the investigation and decide if it was fair.

"Is this how an investigation should be conducted so to blight someone for the rest of their life, the last 18 years?" he asked.

The jury was told the State denies all claims made by Mr Bailey and will say there was a lawful basis for his identification as a suspect.

Mr Bailey began giving his evidence late on Wednesday afternoon.

He spoke about his parents, his education and his early career in journalism before he moved to Ireland in 1990.

The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy