It is that man Bailey again, Supported by the Amanda Large, former Pirate Bride, and the PR Machine behind the Bailey Case. Sophie du Plantier’s family want her name off the Petition, as a matter of Urgency.

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Ian Bailey supporters ask Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s son to back calls to reopen the case

A letter has been sent to Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s son pleading with him to support a campaign calling for justice for Ian Bailey.

It comes on foot of a petition urging a cold case review of the murder which has so far garnered more than 22,000 signatures here and abroad.

Campaigners wrote to the dead Frenchwoman’s son Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud and other family members asking them to support the petition “so true justice can prevail”.

Publicist Amanda Large said she had hoped they would listen to the argument but she now fears Sophie’s family want the Facebook page for the campaign taken down.

The initiative is titled Justice for Sophie, Justice for Ian Bailey and she believes the family object to Sophie’s name being used.

Ms Toscan du Plantier was found battered to death at the foot of the laneway leading to her Cork cottage two days before Christmas in 1996.

Mr Bailey was convicted in absentia of her murder at a trial in Paris in 2019, but the Irish courts have ruled against extraditing him.

The letter, seen by this newspaper, represents the first contact on behalf of Bailey with Sophie’s family in the 25 years since her unsolved murder.Death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier posing for the camera: Sophie Toscan du Plantier. © Family Handout/PA Wire Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

It reads:

“Cher Monsieur, firstly I would like to say how deeply sorry I am for the loss of your mother.

“People say they understand the pain of grief but I don’t think you fully understand until it’s someone who is part of your daily life.

“I sense that you are still angry and rightly so, your mother’s life was taken too soon but the reason I am writing to you is because I believe your anger is misdirected towards Ian Bailey.

“I am running the campaign Justice for Sophie Justice for Ian Bailey because after researching the case I felt strongly that he is innocent.

“I know a lot of information was looked at in the trial in Paris but not all of it was accurate nor was it unbiased.

“You have based your judgment on unreliable sources and circumstantial evidence that came from a place of Mr Bailey being judged for being different rather than a real motive or proof.”

Speaking to the Irish Sunday Mirror, Mr Bailey said he was aware of the campaign and had seen the letter.

He added: “I gather that the family has objected to the campaign. I didn’t hear anything back and I don’t have any expectations there.”

The letter goes on: “I know that Ian Bailey is not perfect… but I have gotten to know him somewhat through this campaign and he isn’t the monster you think he is.

“I believe you have never even met him. If you did perhaps you would see him as a person with feelings who has suffered and remained strong in any way he could to get through it.

“He is a victim of this crime too and it has torn his life apart for 25 years.

“He has paid a high price for the inappropriate things he may have said like that he ‘did it for a story’ which was clearly not said in seriousness. Can I ask you for one second to consider that if France is wrong and that he’s innocent how awful that would be for everyone including Sophie?a man wearing a hat: Ian Bailey © Mick ONeill Monpics Photography. Ian Bailey

“What we are asking is that the case be reinvestigated from the very start and inaccuracies put right.

“I am not asking you to believe me that Ian is innocent. I’m asking to give him the benefit of the doubt in the absence of any conclusive evidence.

“Why would he want a reinvestigation if he had anything to hide? If you are so certain that the right verdict was made then you should have no concerns about the case being investigated again as it could only provide more assurance to you but if the verdict was wrong it gives Mr Bailey a chance to live the rest of his life with peace, freedom and his reputation back.

“I ask you to please find it in your heart to support and sign this petition for your mum, for Ian and for the people of Ireland so that true justice can prevail.”

Ms Large said she had not heard anything back about the letter – nor has she heard from RTE’s Late Late Show having asked to appear on next Friday’s episode.

She said: “Pierre-Louis is going to be on The Late Late Show so I’ve requested that I get the opportunity to ask him directly on it in the balance of fairness.

“I do feel there should be somebody there to represent Ian Bailey, even in the audience.

“I feel if there isn’t someone there to create balance it will be propaganda.”

On Friday Ryan Tubridy confirmed the case would “feature very prominently” on the show’s season opener.

Mr Bailey said he “never intended” to go on the Late Late Show himself.

He told us: “That was never my plan and I never asked to go on. But I do think somebody should be there to represent my side of things.

“Either way there has been no reply.”Death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier looking at the camera © PA Sophie Toscan du Plantier

An RTE spokeswoman would not be drawn on the line-up, only saying: “We will announce our guests next week. Tune in for the first show on Friday 3rd.”

On Friday Mr Bailey’s solicitor Frank Buttimer addressed what he described as “erroneous” remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Speaking in Dublin, Mr Macron said a new trial could be arranged for Mr Bailey if he were to agree to travel to France.

He added there was a ­period of time in which Ireland and France could decide what should be done with a “mutual trust in the courts system”.

Mr Bailey, with an address at The Prairie in Schull, was convicted in his absence in 2019.

He had no legal representation for the case, did not attend the court and described the process as a farce.

Mr Buttimer said: “The Irish court has no role to play in this matter.

“The Irish State, on the last two of those occasions, has decided that the Irish High Court’s decision is correct and should not be appealed to the Supreme Court.”

He added there was “absolutely” no chance of his client agreeing to go to France as he dubbed the 2019 hearing as “more of a show trial”.

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