Wednesday 18 October 2017

Father's heartbreak: She made me promise I would recover from stroke

Jill's father George and her husband Tom arrive at court. Jill’s mother Edith McKeon was too ill to attend, but her victim impact statement revealed that she is now a broken woman.
Jill's father George and her husband Tom arrive at court. Jill’s mother Edith McKeon was too ill to attend, but her victim impact statement revealed that she is now a broken woman.

In his victim impact statement, Jill Meagher's father, George McKeon, spoke of how she had extracted a promise from him after he had suffered a stroke just weeks before she was murdered in September last year.

He explained that she had made him promise that he would live, adding: "The reason she wanted me to live, which she said quite smartly, was she wanted her children to have a young granddad to run around with."

He put it starkly when he said that Adrian Ernest Bayley's crime meant that he will never get to see his daughter raise children and that his wife Edith "will never be a maternal grandmother" as they have no other daughters.

Speaking of his home in Western Australia he said: "We actually live opposite a park on the river, where daily there are young mothers and their children.

"Every young child, small baby less than three months old, they just remind me of Jillian and they remind me of what would have been, that, by now, Jillian would be three to four months pregnant, we would be engrossed in the life of the baby's coming along.

"This is a victim impact statement, so this is the impact on my wife and I.

"That is a life we will just never have. We can't have it. We can't have any more children."

Addressing Bayley directly, Mr McKeon said that the contents of his powerful victim impact statement "are only some of the items that will fill my mind for the rest of my life".

Meanwhile, an uncle of Jill Meagher has told how "no words can describe the pain" for her family after her death. Speaking in her hometown Drogheda, Michael McKeon added: "The details of what happened to Jill are distressing. No words can describe the consequence of this and the family need privacy and space at this time."

However, Drogheda Mayor Paul Bell said Jill was the innocent victim of "an evil crime", and that questions needed to be answered about how her killer was at large in the community.

Mr Bell added: "I can say that the general population here has been touched and is devastated to hear the victim impact statements of George, Jill's father and the pain he, her mother Edith, her husband Thomas and the rest of her family is suffering."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News