Bailey could have Stayed Away from the newspapers, he so Craves to be on, as a Mark of Respect for the Anniversary of Sophie, and her Family today??

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Ian Bailey ‘feels for’ Sophie Toscan du Plantier as he opens up on ‘never-ending nightmare’ 25 years on

The journalist, 64, has protested his innocence on the anniversary of the French filmmaker’s death

Ian Bailey leaves the High Court in Dublin on July 15, 2020 (Image: PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

23rd December 2021

Ian Bailey has protested his innocence on the 25th anniversary of Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s murder, insisting: “It’s a never-ending nightmare.”

The French filmmaker, 39, was beaten to death at her west Cork holiday home in Schull on December 23, 1996. Her unsolved murder has since fascinated the world.

On the eve of her anniversary, self-confessed chief suspect Bailey told the Irish Mirror: “I genuinely feel for her. She lost her life and the killer is still on the loose.

“But there are secondary victims. Me, my family, Sophie’s family – especially her son – and the people of Schull. The murder has had a terrible impact on all of us and nobody can rest until it is solved.”

He insisted: “I didn’t kill Sophie Toscan du Plantier. I never knew her, was never introduced to her. It’s a false narrative perpetrated by certain people since the day she died.”

Sophie Toscan du Plantier (Image: PA)

Two TV documentaries on the brutal crime by Sky and Netflix have been seen by millions across the globe, dividing opinion on whether journalist Bailey, 64, is responsible.

Her family and friends, led by son Pierre-Louis, and the French Government are adamant it was Bailey

A French court in absentia found him guilty and sentenced him to 25-year imprisonment.

However, all the evidence was based on hearsay and would not have been allowed in an Irish court of law.

Bailey has been arrested twice here, but never charged by the DPP.

A flawed crime scene didn’t help and there was no DNA against the Englishman after she was struck numerous times with a concrete block in a lane 100 yards from her hideaway holiday home.

An undated picture taken in the French southern village of Combret, shows Sophie Toscan du Plantier, a French woman who was murdered in Ireland in 1996. (Image: gettyimages.ie)
Scene of murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier, 1997, in Schull, West Cork. Floral tributes at spot where her body was found

The Irish courts have refused to extradite him to France to serve the sentence.

In a new interview, Bailey said he felt gardai were out to get him just because he was a bit different.

He said: “There are people in west Cork and Ireland who know I had absolutely nothing to do with this crime. I would appeal to them to come forward and contact the gardai.”

He says he has lived every day for 25 years with the false accusation hanging over his head.

“ I am no longer bitter or angry, I just get up every day determined to clear my name and prove my innocence.

“ Many support me, while others hate me. The vast majority of people have been very kind.

“Then there are others who want to kill me, issue death threats, beat me up. It’s something I just live with.”

On that fateful night, 25 years ago, he says was out drinking with his then-partner Jules Thomas in two local pubs, before they went home at midnight on December 23. He is adamant he didn’t leave the house until the next morning.

Estranged: Ian Bailey and Jules Thomas in 2017 (stock pic)

He went to the scene around 2pm in the afternoon as a journalist.

The gardai were there; the area wasn’t taped off, but he said he was kept well away and didn’t see the body.

He said he has no idea who killed Sophie.

“There are various theories but honestly, I have no idea. The killer could be in Ireland or France, or could be dead since it happened 25 years ago.

“I have called for a new Garda investigation and will co-operate in any way I can.”

He said his reported admissions to the crime “were not confessions, this was my attempt at dark humour which is something I now regret”.

He added: “The alleged informal confessions, the DPP accepts they were quite clearly not confessions but merely my attempt at dark humour.

“The whole case is like a never-ending nightmare and a form of torture every day

“I will not rest until my name is cleared. I have spent 25 years doing it and I won’t change now.

“Both my conscience and God know that I didn’t do it.”

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