A Paris court on Friday convicted a British man in absentia for the 1996 murder of a French woman at her holiday home in Ireland, in a long-disputed case that has stirred controversy in both countries.
Ian Bailey, 62, was tried without legal representation by three judges for the killing of Sophie Toscan du Plantier after Ireland refused repeated requests to extradite him. The court sentenced him to 25 years in prison and ordered a new EU arrest warrant, though it was not immediately clear how the Irish authorities would respond. The divisive case, the subject of the hit 2018 podcast West Cork, appears certain to continue. Before serving the sentence, Bailey, a former freelance journalist, would first have to be brought to France for a second trial with a jury.
Mrs Toscan du Plantier’s parents and son hugged each other in court as the verdict was delivered.
Bailey’s lawyers described the trial as a “judicial error” but her son, Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud, welcomed the verdict. He said Bailey “showed a very great lack of courage” in failing to turn up of his own volition.
Irish police arrested him twice during a protracted, bungled investigation after Mrs Toscan du Plantier’s battered body was found outside her cottage in Schull, West Cork, a scenic Atlantic region known as the Irish riviera.