A British man accused of the murder of a French woman in Ireland more than 20 years ago could have a personality disorder, according to two psychologists.
Ian Bailey, 62, is accused of killing Sophie Toscan du Plantier outside Schull, West Cork, two days before Christmas in 1996.
She was the wife of celebrated cinematographer Daniel Toscan du Plantier and the case is one of Ireland’s most famous unsolved murders.
Bailey, who lived three kilometres from the victim, was arrested twice in connection with the murder but was never charged, amid allegations of incompetence and corruption among local officers.
Following a 23-year fight for justice by Ms Toscan du Plantier’s family, Bailey is now being tried in his absence at the Cour D’Assises in Paris – France’s highest criminal court.
Ireland has twice refused to comply with a European arrest warrant and extradite Bailey.
On Wednesday, the court heard evidence from a report written by two French psychologists tasked with making a “personality assessment” of Bailey.
The experts, Katy Lorenzo-Regreny and Jean Michel Masson, never met Bailey and instead based their report on his diaries and his interviews given to the local gardai.
They concluded Bailey had a “particularly complex and intelligent personality” but said he was a narcissist, violent and impulsive and self-obsessed.
The authors of the report added Bailey had a great need to be recognised.
It said Bailey had the traits of someone with a personality disorder, but that there was no evidence he was psychotic, the court heard.
In one diary entry referred to earlier in the trial, Bailey allegedly admits assaulting his partner, writing: “I can’t say what happens to me after I’ve drunk a bottle of whisky, two pints, wine and several shots of tequila.”
The case has taken many twists and turns over the years, including Bailey bringing a successful defamation case against newspapers in 2014.
The only witness to put him at the scene at the time of the killing later retracted her evidence, claiming she had been groomed and bullied by investigators into giving false evidence.
The French authorities started their own investigation in 2008 – interviewing 28 West Cork locals and exhuming Ms Toscan du Plantier’s body in the hope of finding further forensic evidence.
The case is due to be decided by a judge and two professional magistrates on Friday after hearing just three days of evidence.
Bailey has branded the case in France a “show trial” but if he were to be convicted and then extradited, he would be tried again by a jury and given the opportunity to mount a defence.