herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

Jill Meagher killer Adrian Bayley guilty of three more rapes

The killer of Irish woman Jill Meagher has been found guilty of three more rapes in Australia.

Adrian Bayley (42) was found guilty of attacking three women in separate trials which had been subjected to a news blackout until the verdict in the final case was delivered.

The new convictions mean Bayley has now been found guilty of raping 12 women.

His final victim was Louth woman Jill (29), who he raped and murdered after approaching her as she walked home from a night out at a local pub in Brunswick, Melbourne, in September 2012.

A native of Drogheda, she was living with her Irish husband Tom Meagher and worked for a TV station.

Bayley buried her body in a shallow grave outside Melbourne.

He was given a 35-year minimum sentence.

Bayley had spent eight years in prison for a series of brutal rapes. He was released on parole in 2010 but reverted to attacking women.

In a statement this morning, Jill’s father, George McKeon, said that while nothing can bring her back, it was clear that the state of Victoria Parole Board had “failed to protect my daughter and many others in the community”.

“As a family, we have until now been very mindful not to make any statement or take any actions that might delay the outstanding criminal proceedings against Gillian’s murderer,” he said.

“However, now that these proceedings are completed, we want to try and obtain closure to ensure that other families don’t have to endure this trauma.”

The family said they would continue to work to raise awareness of the systemic problem of violence against women.

The court heard that two of Bayley’s victims were young prostitutes and the third was a young Dutch backpacker.

One woman was attacked in 2000 and the others were raped only months before he murdered Jill.

Bayley pleaded not guilty in all three rape trials. Extra time will be added to his current prison term when he is sentenced at a later date.

The woman attacked in 2000 was 18 and had just started working as a prostitute. In a chilling twist, the court heard she had been handed a leaflet warning about “bad men” attacking sex workers in the area.

She told the court she was reading the leaflet when she got into Bayley’s car.

She told him she could not believe “how many bad people are out there.”

Bayley told her he was “one of those bad guys”.

It would be 11 years before she reported her ordeal to police after she saw Bayley’s photo following Jill’s death.

The Dutch woman was attacked only two months before Jill’s death.

She had left a pub “a little drunk” one night when Bayley beckoned her over to his car and told her he saw a vehicle was following her. He offered to drive her home, but attacked and raped her in the car.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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