Life with journalist Ian Bailey has not been a bed of roses, his partner Jules Thomas agreed in the High Court yesterday.
She told the jury about being assaulted by Mr Bailey a first time in 1993; a second in 1996; and a third in 2001. There had been absolutely no violent incidents since, she said.
The violence, she told the jury, was “still a bad memory” and “kind of unforgiveable”, but she did believe “there is good in everyone”.
She was giving evidence in the action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State. They deny his claims, including of wrongful arrest and conspiracy arising from the conduct of the Garda investigation into the murder of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Her body was found on December 23, 1996, at Toormore, Schull.
The first assault happened in 1993 when Mr Bailey pushed Ms Thomas “quite hard” against the wall when she went to join him in a bed in a friend’s house in Cork, she said. It was “very painful”, she said. Her friend asked him to leave and she went to hospital but there were no broken bones.
There was a lot of whiskey involved and she did not think he knew what he was doing but there was “no excuse for violence”, she said. She was “pretty disgusted” with his “appalling” behaviour and he had “enormous remorse” afterwards.
She said she did not speak to him for some weeks but they made up. He said it would not happen again, she said.
The second assault happened three years later and was “also drink-fuelled”, she said. It occurred when they were driving home from a bar in Schull and he was swerving across the road and she got angry with him and asked him to stop. They “grabbed” at each other and it was “very bad”, she said.
She suffered an injury to her face and hair loss and one of her daughters was distraught when she saw her at home, Ms Thomas said.
Asked by her counsel Jim Duggan BL how she felt after the assault, she said it was “hard to put into words — it was awful”.
The third incident happened in 2001 when Mr Bailey was on crutches with an achilles tendon injury. She said he was on painkillers and maybe had also consumed some wine and was sleeping on a couch. When she asked him to move, he was “outraged” at being disturbed and she was hit with a crutch. She did not know if it as intentional, she said. There was no excuse for his behaviour, she added.
A friend phoned the gardaí about the incident, she said. Mr Bailey received a three-month suspended sentence for that assault.
She suffered bruising, she added. After that assault, there was a discussion with him in front of gardaí and he agreed to go to England for a while.
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