State’s bid to halt Jules Thomas’ wrongful arrest claim adjourned

State will say that claim was brought outside the six-year legal time limit

The State's bid to prevent Jules Thomas, partner of Ian Bailey, proceeding with her action for damages over her alleged wrongful arrest by gardaí investigating the late 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier has been adjourned at the High Court.

In April, lawyers for the Garda Commissioner and State indicated they intended to apply to have Ms Thomas’s claim for wrongful arrest on dates in 1997 and 2000 struck out on grounds it was brought outside the applicable six year legal time limit.

The State had made a similar application in Mr Bailey's case. That application was made in late March, towards the end of the hearing of Mr Bailey's 64-day action for damages, and was granted by Mr Justice John Hedigan.

The judge permitted Mr Bailey’s claim that gardaí conspired to implicate him in the murder of Ms du Plantier to go to the jury for consideration.

The jury unanimously dismissed that claim.

The judge will on Tuesday hear submissions from the sides as to who must pay the costs of Mr Bailey’s action, which legal sources estimate could be as high as €5m.

When Ms Thomas's separate action was mentioned, Michael Lynn SC told Mr Justice Hedigan he had just come into the case for Ms Thomas and wanted a six-week adjournment of the State's statute barred application so as to allow him time to address that.

Paul O’Higgins SC, with Luán O Braonáin, for the State, indicated his side were consenting to the six-week adjournment.

There was also consent to the adjournment of separate contempt proceedings brought by the DPP against various media outlets arising from Mr Bailey’s case, counsel outlined.