Europe

Ian Bailey case: Marie Farrell claims police officer asked her for sex

Four Courts, Dublin
Image caption The case is being heard at the High Court in Dublin

A witness has told the High Court in Dublin that a police officer stripped naked in a house in Schull, County Cork, and asked her for sex.

Marie Farrell made the claims in a case where former journalist Ian Bailey is suing the Irish state for wrongful arrest.

Mr Bailey, 57, a former journalist from Manchester, denies any involvement in the killing of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier and was never charged.

He moved to Ireland 23 years ago.

Ms Toscan Du Plantier, a 39-year-old film producer, was found beaten to death on a hillside near her remote holiday home in west Cork on 23 December 1996.

The court previously heard Ms Farrell claim the police officer asked her to change her description of a man she saw in Schull in the days before the murder of Ms Toscan Du Plantier.

She said she was told by Det Garda Jim Fitzgerald that they needed to "do something to tidy up" the file for the DPP because the description did not fit.

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found beaten to death in west Cork in 1996

On Wednesday, Ms Farrell said that Det Fitzgerald had called to a house she was cleaning in Schull and she went upstairs.

She said when she returned downstairs, he was standing in one of the bedrooms and had stripped naked and asked her for sex.

She said that she swore at him and ordered him out of the house.

Stomach

She said the incident with Det Fitzgerald happened in the summer of either 1997 or 1998, but that she did not tell anyone until years later.

Ms Farrell denied telling lies, in exchanges with the counsel for the state.

She said she had seen a growth low down on Det Fitzgerald's stomach. "How would I know that was there if I had not seen him naked?"

Ms Farrell said she had only told her husband about this and then told a solicitor about it in recent weeks. She said she did not want to tell anyone about it.

The senior counsel for the state said Ms Farrell was "no shrinking violet when it came to making allegations of extraordinary lewd behaviour by gardaí [police]".

He said the incident would be denied by Det Fitzgerald as would another incident she referred to last week involving an encounter with Det Sgt Maurice Walsh in the toilets of a golf club.

Ms Farrell claimed Det Sgt Walsh exposed himself to her and said he was turned on by fitting up Mr Bailey.

The case continues.

More on this story