cold case | 

Ian Bailey says he is ‘delighted’ Gardai are to review murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier

“I have always said that If I can co-operate in any meaningful way with anything to do with this case, I am happy to co-operate.”
Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey© PA

Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier.© PA

Eugene Masterson and Ken FoySunday World

IAN Bailey this evening said he is “delighted” at the announcement of a full cold case review into the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Gardaí have announced that they will now conduct a “full review” into the horror killing of the Frenchwoman just before Christmas in December 1996.

“It’s what I asked for and called for over 12 months ago when I wrote to Commissioner Drew Harris on the first occasion and I clearly said that if I could any way materially assist,” Ian Bailey told Sundayworld.com

“I asked Commissioner Harris, as a clean pair of hands to review this case and offered my assistance in any way that I could.

“I am therefore clearly delighted to hear that my request has been acceded to.

“I have always said that If I can co-operate in any meaningful way with anything to do with this case, I am happy to co-operate.”

The filmmaker (39) was battered to death with a stone and breeze block on the night of December 22, 1996 at her holiday home in Toormore, near Schull in Co Cork.

The Garda cold-case unit carried out a detailed "scoping exercise" last year into the killing of the mother-of-one last year. A preliminary review by cold case investigators was completed in January.

The report - which was to recommend whether a full Garda review of the case was then submitted to Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll, who was in charge of special crime operations in An Garda Síochána before his retirement on Tuesday.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier.© PA

It has now been announced that the murder case will be reviewed by specialist officers after a decision was finally made last night.

“Following a review by Assistant Commissioner, Organised and Serious Crime, the Garda Serious Crime Review Team will now conduct a full review of this case,” a garda spokesman said today.

“On the finalisation of this review, the Serious Crime Review Team will provide recommendations to the local investigation team.

“An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to anyone who may have any information on this crime to contact the Garda investigation team at Bantry Garda Station 027 20860 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111,” he added.

Late last year, the force appointed the team to carry out a preliminary assessment of the investigation into the killing.

READ MORE: Gardai to conduct ‘full review’ into west Cork murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Four detectives from the Serious Crime Review Team examined the case file, which exceeds 4,000 pages and has been submitted four times to the DPP.

It is understood the team examined whether forensic issues and advances in technology would make the case worth revisiting.

It also examined witness statements and whether people who declined to co-operate 26 years ago might now have changed their position.

It has now emerged that all these issues will be fully examined again.

Bailey was previously questioned about the killing and admits he is a suspect. He has repeatedly denied involvement in the killing.

The killing was recently the subject of two separate documentary series, one of which was directed by Jim Sheridan.

Asked how he is these days, Bailey told Sundayworld.com: “I’m Ok, I’m alright, life goes on you know.

“I’m trying to get on with my own Podcast. I’m making slow progress with that, but that’s just the way of productions.”

Bailey (65) broke up with his long term partner Jules Thomas about two years ago and now lives in a new location.

“I keep my location very close to my chest, I have personal security issues,” he added.

He is believed to be currently in a relationship with a fashionista from Co Mayo, Ethna Staunton, but would not comment on it.


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