Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder probe timeline revealed as cops chase leads from popular TV documentaries
- 15:29, 19 Aug 2022
- Updated: 15:29, 19 Aug 2022
GARDAI say it will be at least a year at the earliest before there are developments in the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder enquiry.
Detectives are following up all the new leads arising from the two recent television documentaries on the case and interviewing each of the people individually involved.
But they are also going through thousands of files containing every statement made in relation to the case.
It is understood this includes the several people who claimed that the initial Garda suspect Ian Bailey confessed to them that he killed Sophie .
Among them are a local man Richie Shelly and his wife Rosie who allege an emotional Bailey told them he did it during a New Year’s Eve dinner at his house with then partner Jules Thomas in 1998, two years after the brutal crime was committed.
There is also a statement from Malachi Reed, a then 14-year-old boy who is now 38 years old and still living in the area.
He said Bailey told him ” he bashed Sophie’s F……. brains in” with a rock ” when he gave him a lift home from Schull village, a year after the French beauty’s death
The teenager went home and told his mother and they were terrified for days afterwards..
Bailey denies that he made these comments and has always maintained that he had no involvement in the French woman’s death.
A number of witnesses including Sophie’s neighbour in west Cork, Alfie Lyons are dead.
He claimed he introduced Bailey to the beautiful French film producer 18 months before she was killed in Christmas, 1996.
Ian Bailey again denies this and always maintains he never knew Sophie.
The Garda source said: ” There is a serious amount of digging to be done and statements to be checked and clarified.
“We have a number of new leads from the TV programmes which we will be pursuing.
“But in all honesty it is going to take a year before we know what direction the investigation is going and if there are developments.”
Ian Bailey was arrested twice over the murder but never charged.
He has always denied killing Sophie and has offered to fully cooperate with the new cold case investigation.
Bailey, 64, was convicted by a French court of the murder in abstenia in 2019 and given a 25 year jail sentence.
Most of the evidence was based on hearsay which would never be admissible in an Irish court.
The Irish courts in turn have refused to extradite him to France to do the time.