Belfast Telegraph

Journalist Ian Bailey loses his 'I was framed for murder' lawsuit

By Ed Carty

Former journalist Ian Bailey is facing a monumental legal bill after losing a lawsuit claiming the Irish state tried to frame him for the murder of a French woman in Cork in 1996.

Mr Bailey, who admitted during the case to beating his partner three times but denies any involvement in the unsolved killing of film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier, is expected to be hit with millions in costs after a jury found no conspiracy in the case.

The bill is conservatively estimated at around €5m (£3.7m).

The 58-year-old, who moved to Ireland from Cheltenham in the mid-90s, sued the Irish authorities over the handling of the murder probe into the brutal killing two days before Christmas 1996.

Ms Toscan du Plantier was battered to death outside her holiday home at Toormore, near Schull in west Cork.

Mr Bailey had alleged gardai tried to frame him for killing Ms Toscan du Plantier. He was arrested in 1997 and 1998 in connection with the murder but never charged.

He showed little emotion as the jury delivered the verdicts in Dublin's High Court after little more than two hours of deliberation and 64 days of hearings.

As the defeat sank in, he put his arm around artist partner Jules Thomas, who during the case he admitted beating, before speaking quietly and calmly to his lawyers.

Outside court, Mr Bailey's solicitor Frank Buttimer said: "He is obviously very disappointed with the outcome. He gave this case his very best effort."

There was a public outcry during the case when it emerged that phonecalls at Garda stations throughout the Republic were recorded for years without the public's knowledge.

Mr Bailey's courtroom defeat is the second he has suffered, after losing libel actions in 2003 against several newspapers over their reporting of the murder investigation and naming him as a suspect.

Belfast Telegraph

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