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GARDA'S BAILEY FILE SENT TO DPP; Evidence from libel trial used.

Byline: ANN MOONEY

A NEW file on woman-beater Ian Bailey has been sent to the DPP following his failed libel action against several newspapers.

The freelance journalist was the main suspect in the murder of French film-maker Sophie du Plantier.

She was beaten to death at her Irish holiday home in 1996.

Bailey, 46, now back living with his lover artist Jules Thomas, has always denied any involvement in the murder in Schull, West Cork.

He took seven libel actions against eight papers, claiming they had branded him the main suspect, but lost six.

But gardai investigating the murder believe new evidence may have emerged during the libel trial.

Many locals living in Schull and near Bailey's home at Liscaha gave evidence which potentially contradicted his account of what have happened on that terrible night.

In particular, gardai believe evidence given by Mrs du Plantier's neighbour Alfie Lyons and the timing of two phone calls made by the journalist on the day of the murder were crucial factors in the new file.

It was suggested during the trial that Bailey knew about the murder before the news broke. He said the first he knew of the murder was when he received a phone call from journalist Eddie Cassidy after 1.30pm asking him to check out a tip-off he about a death near Schull.

But two witnesses, Caroline Leftwich and Mr O'Colmain told the court he informed them that a Frenchwoman had been murdered in the area that morning.

Ms Leftwich was unsure about the exact time of the call and O'Colmain also could not "be definitive about the time".

However, during cross examination by defence Bailey admitted he had made calls to both witnesses.

Mr Lyons told the trial he had introduced Mrs du Plantier to Bailey, even though Bailey has always maintained he did not know the Frenchwoman and that he had not been introduced to her.

The new file was sent to the DPP a month ago and officers are awaiting a decision from the Director who received daily transcripts from the libel trial.

CAPTION(S):

SUSPECT: Ian Bailey
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 5, 2004
Words:352
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