Case against Ian Bailey further adjourned until next month

Case against Ian Bailey further adjourned until next month

Ian Bailey. File Picture: Dan Linehan

A case against Ian Bailey for drug driving which he is contesting has been further adjourned until next month.

Bantry District Court in West Cork has adjourned four charges faced by Mr Bailey until April 22nd next. The case will be mentioned on that occasion with a view to fixing a hearing date.

In November of last year Judge John King heard legal submissions from barrister Emmet Boyle on behalf of Mr Bailey. It was adjourned to allow for written submissions on various matters.

Mr Bailey was found with a small tin of cannabis on his person following his arrest at a garda checkpoint in West Cork, the court previously heard.

The 63-year-old faces four charges following his arrest near Schull on August 25th, 2019.

Mr Bailey, of Priary, Lisscaha in Schull in West Cork has been charged with and pleaded not guilty to possession of cannabis in his car, possession of cannabis at Bantry Garda Station, driving while cannabis was in his system, and allowing his car to be used for possession of cannabis.

He was arrested on suspicion of drink driving, having failed a roadside breath test, but he then passed the evidenzer test at Bantry Garda Station.

It’s alleged he failed an oral fluid test and that blood samples taken by a doctor at Bantry Garda Station later tested positive for the presence of cannabis.

Bantry District Court previously heard that Mr Bailey had been stopped at a checkpoint in Schull shortly after 8pm on August 25th, 2019.

Judge King was told that small tin of cannabis was found on the person of Mr Bailey. He allegedly told gardaí that someone had left it for him at his market stall.

The court also heard that Mr Bailey said that the cannabis found on his person was for "personal use" and that a search of his car should not uncover any more of the drug.

However, gardaí allegedly found three other joints in the car after they searched the vehicle. The joints were found in a compartment in the centre dash.

Emmet Boyle, Defending Barrister, raised a number of issues in relation to the case. These included how gardaí came to uncover the cannabis both on the person of his client Mr Bailey and in his car.

The Junior Counsel also mentioned other aspects of the garda probe including why the arresting garda allegedly retained his client's car keys after his release on the night of his arrest, then took the car and parked it at the garda station overnight before searching it the following morning.

Insp Ian O'Callaghan, prosecuting, defended the garda procedures. He said the roadside procedures were "totally correct" and that once cannabis had been found on Mr Bailey in the search an experienced officer, had correctly formed the opinion that Mr Bailey may have been driving under the influence of a drug.

He said it was "entirely logical" to deduce this and "the Sgt's opinion was proved correct", referring to the results of the subsequent analysis.

Insp O'Callaghan said it was "standard practice" that prisoners be searched at a garda station. He said " at all times" the keys to Mr Bailey's car were in garda custody and that "it is the state's view that all procedures were done correctly.” 

The blood sample taken from Mr Bailey showed a reading of 2.7ng/ml for D9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis) where the limit is 1ng/ml and 19.5ng/ml for 11-nor-9-carboxy-D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis) where the limit is 5ng/ml.

The drug seized was also confirmed as cannabis by the Forensic Science Laboratory.

Mr Bailey last year successfully fought extradition to France after he was convicted in absentia of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Mr Bailey never travelled to France to give evidence with his legal team deeming it to be a show trial.

The Law graduate has always protested his innocence in relation to the murder of the French woman.

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