Who is Ian Bailey's ex-girlfriend Jules Thomas?

IAN Bailey is the focus of the Netflix documentary series Sophie: A Murder in West Cork.

The documentary investigates the murder of French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier, 39, who was beaten to death in Ireland in December 1996.

Who is Ian Bailey's ex-girlfriend Jules Thomas?

At the time of Sophie's murder, landscape painter and gardener Jules Thomas was living with Ian Bailey a few miles away in West Cork.

Ms Thomas and Bailey split up earlier this year.

She said she broke up with Bailey partly because her daughters refused to visit with her grandchildren while he was still living with her.

She is aged in her 70s and was born in Wales. She has lived in West Cork for 50 years after buying a cottage using money she got from her "immensely wealthy grandfather".

In 1992, Jules bought the house, known as The Studio, with its views of the Atlantic Ocean, and Bailey moved in.2

She has created large-scale murals for heritage centres in Northern Ireland.

Ms Thomas told Extra: "I'm a private person and I'd rather stay that way."

In 2001, Bailey was given a three-month suspended sentence for assaulting Ms Thomas.

What has Jules Thomas said about Sophie Toscan du Plantier's death?

Ms Thomas said she is unsure if she will watch the Netflix documentary.

She says: “I know it will upset me so much. I want to avoid that because I can’t take any more upset.”

For a quarter of a century she has stood by her lover, refusing to believe that he was to blame for the murder of a young mum.

Jules is still convinced he is innocent.

She said: “If I had left him in the middle of all that it would have looked like he did it, so I just gritted my teeth.”

Why did Ian Bailey and Jules Thomas split?

Ms Thomas dumped Ian Bailey, saying she can no longer take the stress of him being prime suspect in the slaying of film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

She said: “I’ve had enough… that’s all. After 25 years I am sick and tired of banging on with this. It’s been just awful.”

With Bailey gone, Jules is looking forward to welcoming her three daughters and grandchildren to her home she shared with him for nearly 30 years.

She explained: “They refused to visit because they didn’t want to meet him. My daughters were absolutely thrilled when I finished with Ian.”

Ms Thomas added: “For a while he seemed to be still in disbelief when I finally told him, ‘That’s it, I want to get on with my own life’. 

“I want nothing more to do with him. I just can’t handle the stress. I’ve been praying that he will get fixed up in his own place soon.”

She has given him until July to move out before daughter Virginia marries fiancé Killian in the grounds of the pretty cottage.

Jules is also looking forward to visits from her youngest daughter Fenella and daughter Saffron, who has two children.

She says: “I couldn’t kick him out whilst he had nowhere else to go. But there are signs he is trying to find somewhere and he has moved carloads of stuff out.”

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