An acquaintance of Mr Bailey’s, Richie Shelley, said that when he asked Mr Bailey what did he do, Mr Bailey said: “I went too far.”
Mr Shelley yesterday told the High Court this happened sometime after 2am on January 1, 1999, at Mr Bailey’s home at the Prairie, Schull, after Mr Bailey had been looking at newspaper cuttings about the murder in West Cork of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
Asked what he believed Mr Bailey was talking about, he said: “I think the murder was heavy on his mind because it was the main subject of the night.”
Mr Bailey was “obsessed” with the murder and had earlier produced a shoebox of cuttings about it, he said. He said his understanding of Mr Bailey’s remarks was that he was admitting to murder.
Mr Shelley, then aged 24, said he was shocked by what Mr Bailey said and would remember it “until I die”.
He did not accept a suggestion by Ronan Munro, for Mr Bailey, that Mr Bailey was upset that people were saying he had done the murder.
There was no mention that night of violent incidents towards Mr Bailey’s partner Jules Thomas, he told counsel. Asked about Ms Thomas’s evidence that Mr Shelley was so drunk he could not have accurately remembered events that night, the witness said he did not accept her claim.
He had had four or five drinks prior before arrival at the house and two cans of lager there. He described as “absolute lies” evidence by Marie Farrell that he had told her he could not remember what Mr Bailey had said and that the guards “twist everything”.
He believed his girlfriend Rosie, now his wife, had heard Mr Bailey’s remarks. She was nervous and they left Mr Bailey’s home by foot shortly afterwards, he said. They were picked up by his father but had not said anything to his father because he did not want to worry him.
He was contacted by RTÉ’s Prime Time in 2014 who said Ms Farrell had told them she had met Mr Shelley on the street some years previously and he had said Mr Bailey did not do it and the guards “twist everything”. Mr Shelley said he had not said that. His conversation with Ms Farrell was about her saying she had been offered money from newspapers and was going to take it to buy doors and windows for a house she was building.
Mr Shelley was giving evidence in the action by Mr Bailey against the garda commissioner and State over the conduct of the investigation into the murder into the murder of Ms du Plantier. Her body was found near Toormore, Schull, on December 23, 1996. The defendants deny all Mr Bailey’s claims, including of wrongful arrest and conspiracy.
Yesterday, Geraldine O’Brien said she was working in Ms Farrell’s shop on June 28, 1997 when Mr Bailey came in looking to talk to Ms Farrell. Ms Farrell was quite nervous and asked her to contact Detective Garda Jim Fitzgerald, she said. Between November 2013 and February 2014, she said Ms Farrell, during a phone conversation about fees for courses being operated by Ms O’Brien in Cork, had said there was a case coming up in which Ian Bailey was involved.
Ms Farrell said she had been told he would get substantial money, maybe a couple of million, and Ms Farrell would get some of that too, Ms O’Brien added. She agreed Ms Farrell, in her evidence, had denied making the comments.
Sergeant Mary Burbage, attached to the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said she was involved in the arrest of Ms Thomas on September 22, 2000, and was not aggressive to her.
Under cross-examination, she said she would have waited in Ms Thomas’s bedroom while Ms Thomas got dressed. She did not consider Ms Thomas was upset or scared. She agreed that Ms Thomas’s daughter Fenella, then aged 17, was upset the previous day, September 21, 2000, when arrested about 7.30am and interviewed during a 12-hour detention.
When Ronan Munro, for Mr Bailey, said that it was “nonsense” to arrest Fenella who had no motive to cover up for Mr Bailey as she did not like him, Sgt Burbage disagreed. She denied Fenella was arrested to get across to Jules Thomas that gardaí could arrest her children and “did not mind if a 17-year-old child got caught in the crossfire”.
The case resumes on Tuesday.