No money Ian Bailey is ‘essentially homeless’ after split from Jules Thomas, filmmaker Donal MacIntyre reveals
MacIntyre, who spent years working with Bailey on a documentary, says he feels concerned for him as his future looks empty
April 25 2021 04:56 PM
Murder suspect Ian Bailey will be homeless and living off benefits within weeks when he leaves the home of his former partner Jules Thomas, a documentary maker who has worked with him for six years has claimed.
Investigative reporter Donal MacIntyre, who is producer of the Jim Sheridan documentary series Murder At The Cottage which is to be screened on Sky next week, says Bailey has lost everything as he gets ready to take a starring role in the anticipated series.
In the show, Sheridan pieces together evidence about the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork.
MacIntyre, who spent years with Bailey and his partner, artist Jules, says while he is happy that she has found the courage to leave the abusive relationship, he feels concerned for Bailey as his future looks empty.Crime World · Episode 24: Sophie Toscan Du Plantier – the murder, the mystery, the myths
“It is a very sad predicament. I tend to lean on the legal position that I don’t think there is sufficient evidence to consider him guilty,” says MacIntyre.
“I’m with the DPP and others in relation to that. So it’s a terribly sad story.
“He is essentially homeless as he has been given his marching orders. I’m pleased for Jules as a victim of domestic abuse that she has had the courage to leave Ian.
“But I can also see that this is going to be a wrench for Ian on a human level. She has stood by him through thick and thin and over the years.
“But now that he has secured this status quo, that he isn’t in legal jeopardy for first time in 25 years in this country, he has lost something huge.
“For those who regard him as innocent it is certainly a tragedy with an anchor in his life gone. For those who believe him guilty, they will think ‘just desserts’.
“Ian obviously cannot travel outside Ireland and I think things are looking pretty dire financially.
“He no longer has accommodation and he will no longer have the company of journalists like he has for the past few years.
“He will have this strange situation where people everywhere will know his name and he will have that attention. But I worry for Ian also.
“He has spent so much of his life defending himself against a murder he says he didn’t commit and I’m not sure what else he has.”
- Episode 24: The Sophie Toscan Du Plantier murder – the suspects, the mystery and the myths
- Ian Bailey challenges garda drug-driving prosecution
In a revealing interview for this week’s Crime World podcast, MacIntyre tells how he immersed himself into the story of the murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier after investigating it for the Sunday World in 2014.
Since then, he has been working with world renowned director Jim Sheridan to document the story in the five-part Sky series.
He recalled how he first met Bailey.
“I think we walked down the road and we were slightly nervous. He has this reputation and image of being a larger-than-life, scary character and I imagine many journalists who walked down that road did so nervously.
“But we went in and we got tea or coffee or whatever we desired. It was welcoming and it was the start of a long obsession of mine with this case.
“If you remove yourself from the personalities and the terrible loss of Sophie, it is like the perfect murder mystery – forever caught in this half-way house.
“Bailey is a convicted murderer in France yet he is a free man in Ireland. And really, only God knows who committed the murder.
“There will be those who believe that Ian Bailey was, in fact, the murderer as the French courts found, and those who feel that he is innocent,” says MacIntyre.
“Then there will be those who feel the garda investigation wasn’t up to standard. Some will say Bailey has brought the suspicion on himself, but none of that is to take away from the desperate pain Sophie’s family have suffered and the amazing battle they have waged to keep her story alive.”
MacIntyre says he was gripped from the beginning when he was invited in to Bailey’s home almost seven years ago.
“It was extraordinary really, how relaxed he was inviting the press in. If you were running a media strategy while under that kind of suspicion, a bit like some corporate PR strategy, you would invite journalists in,” he says.
“But Ian always said he had nothing to hide.
“On the other hand, what you say may be used against you in a court of law and in the court of public opinion. So it was quite a risky strategy. I don’t think it was part of a co-ordinated strategy. I think it was just part of his personality.”
MacIntyre says part of Murder At The Cottage will concentrate on Bailey’s life before he moved to Schull in west Cork and will interview friends who say he always wanted to be “centre of attention”.
He says that “Christmas” probably killed the investigation into Sophie’s brutal murder from the off, with officers late to the scene and even former State Pathologist John Harbison not arriving for more than 24 hours after she was beaten to death in 1996.
- Former State pathologist Dr John Harbison dies
- Ian Bailey says Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s family won’t find peace until real killer is found
“The biggest failure probably, to my mind, is that the gardai overly focused on Ian Bailey exclusively, rather than as part of a constituency of potential suspects. They did try to find others.
“In France, Irish officers were roundly rejected and not allowed take statements or question people and while Ian did present himself as an early suspect and that wasn’t an unreasonable suspicion, I think they just stuck there.
“The plot of his story sounds like a Channel 5 afternoon movie – reporter covering the case suddenly becomes a prime suspect.
“It wasn’t just because he was reporting stuff that he shouldn’t have known. At the end of the day he was the tallest guy at the scene, he had a history of violence, he was boorish and the fact is that he was an oddball.
“He lived nearby and knew where the house was… it is such a remote place that you need good directions even from Schull.
“The person who killed her had to have known her and had to have been at the property before.”