A solicitor for Ian Bailey’s partner Jules Thomas wrote to a State solicitor in 1998 saying Ms Thomas "emphatically" would not stand over statements allegedly made by her to gardaí in February 1997 if called to give evidence at any trial, the High Court has been told.
Ms Thomas and Mr Bailey were separately detained on February 10, 1997, for questioning in Bandon Garda Station in connection with the murder of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier, whose body was found near Toormore, Schull, on December 23, 1996.
Yesterday, Ms Thomas said she had no recollection of saying to gardaí that Mr Bailey got up about an hour after they went to bed on the night of December 22/23, 1996, having left a bar in Schull about 12.30am.
She said she did not say he “got up easy” so as not to wake her. She agreed it was common for Mr Bailey to leave the bed and said he would often get up to write, and had a newspaper article to write at that time.
She denied telling gardaí Mr Bailey said to her, when they stopped at Hunt’s Hill near Schull on their way home that night, that he had a feeling something bad was going to happen. That was “absolute invention”, she said.
She was asked about Garda notes recording that she had said Mr Bailey asked her at Hunt’s Hill was that “Alfie’s house” over there [a reference to Alf Lyons, whose home was next to Ms Toscan du Plantier’s holiday home], before saying “there’s a light on”.
Mr Bailey had not said that and a note by gardaí recording she had said Mr Bailey had said he was going over there later was “pure invention”.
It was not possible to see Mr Lyons’ house from Hunt’s Hill; there were no lights; and it was dark, she said yesterday. Gardaí had referred during interviews with her to there being a party in Mr Lyons’ house that night but there was no party, she added.
She also denied telling gardaí Mr Bailey had “mentally manipulated me”. She did not remember saying to gardaí Mr Bailey had asked her what she had told gardaí about where she was before telling her: “OK, stick with that.”
Ms Thomas was being cross-examined in the continuing action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State arising from the conduct of the Garda investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier. The defendants deny all of Mr Bailey’s claims, including wrongful arrest and conspiracy to manufacture evidence.
The case was adjourned for two days due to the absence of a juror but resumed yesterday before all 12 members of the jury.
Paul O’Higgins SC, for the State, put to Ms Thomas she was incorrect in saying there were additions, omissions, and inventions in Garda notes of her interviews in Bandon. Ms Thomas disagreed and said there were additions, omissions, and inventions. She accepted counsel’s suggestion the notes sometimes recorded matters in favour of Mr Bailey
Mr O’Higgins also put to her that she was incorrect in saying she made a 17-page statement but only 11 pages were produced later. Counsel said there were 17 sheets of papers altogether and all were given to her solicitor.
Ms Thomas said that, at the end of her questioning, there was a “stack” of papers and she counted 17 pages. When her solicitor was given a copy of her statement, several pages were missing, she said. Mr O’Higgins said typed statements were provided to her solicitor. She said she believed there were typed and handwritten.
She agreed notes of interviews were read over to her and she had signed those. When she read the papers at a later date, “they did not match up with what I said”.
Asked about a statement signed by her at 11.50pm on February 10, 1997, she said the English used in that statement on occasions was not her English and there were “additions, omissions, inventions, and observations” she had not made.
She said she told gardaí she had seen no scratch on Mr Bailey’s forehead on December 22, 1996, and had not told gardaí “or at least I didn’t see one”, as their notes recorded. He had a “tiny nick” on his hairline, she said.
Asked had she told gardaí Mr Bailey could have pushed out her car without her knowing and freewheeled it down the road, as he had done in the past, she said she did not think she said that and also denied saying Mr Bailey sometimes went “walkabout” at night.
She denied she told gardaí Mr Bailey had said he knew Ms Toscan du Plantier by sight and had seen her at a supermarket in Schull on December 21, 1996. She also denied she told gardaí Mr Bailey drove “straight” to the murder scene on December 23, 1996.
She said Det Garda Jim Fitzgerald took issue with her, during her second arrest in September 2000, for making a complaint about the notes of her 1997 interviews. Mr O’Higgins suggested she was interviewed in a perfectly civilised fashion and her first interview on that occasion was not with Det Fitzgerald.
Ms Thomas agreed she had signed a memo during that arrest which recorded she had said she was “not shielding Ian”.
When counsel said gardaí trying to find out if there was a crime may not always adopt “a pally tone”, she said she understood that but it “does not work with me”.
It was “absolute lies” to suggest she told Marie Farrell — a shopkeeper in Schull who made various statements about Mr Bailey — that “your day will come”, Ms Thomas said. She understood gardaí had a duty to put such a claim to her where that was made.
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