Monday 23 October 2017

Jail bosses make plans to protect Jill's killer

Serial rapist Bayley will be put on 24-hour suicide watch and shielded from other prisoners horrified by his crimes

JAILED: Adrian Bayley is led into the Supreme Court in Melbourne where he was sentenced
last week to 35 years without parole for raping and murdering Jill Meagher.
JAILED: Adrian Bayley is led into the Supreme Court in Melbourne where he was sentenced last week to 35 years without parole for raping and murdering Jill Meagher.

Ahmer Khokhar

Australian prison authorities are making special arrangements to protect the killer of Drogheda woman Jill Meagher from other inmates.

Corrections Victoria has confirmed that following Adrian Bayley being sentenced to a non-parole term of 35 years, the serial rapist is undergoing a "thorough assessment" and will be placed on 24-hour suicide watch.

Bayley, 41, last year tried to kill himself while on remand at the maximum security Melbourne remand centre when he was deemed to be no longer a suicide risk.

He was later returned to prison following hospitalisation, and Corrections Victoria chief Jan Shuard has vowed that prison authorities will not make the same mistake twice.

"Our assessment will look at the gravity and nature of the offender," she said.

"The prison community, like the broader community, will be distressed at the horrific nature of this offence, and we have to take that into account to ensure we provide a safe environment for all our prisoners."

Bayley will be aged 76 when his first opportunity for parole comes up in 2048, but Crime Victims Support Association president Noel McNamara insisted he should never be released because of his history of sexual violence against women.

"His record of crimes that he's committed in the past is just unbelievable," he said. "It's another travesty of the justice system."

Bayley, a father of four with two ex-wives, pleaded guilty to raping and murdering 29-year-old Jill in Melbourne last September 22.

He was on parole at the time after serving eight years for raping five women – his second prison stint for the crime – when he dragged Jill into a dark Brunswick laneway where he raped and strangled her.

In 2001, he was charged with 16 counts of rape against five women, causing one victim such severe injuries that she bled for a week.

Jill's widower, Tom Meagher, has branded Bayley's sentence "disgusting", saying he should have been jailed for life with no parole.

Victoria's deputy premier Peter Ryan suggested this could still happen, because the authorities would have to take into account Bayley's past crimes when he eventually becomes eligible for parole.

"The parole board, or whatever it might be then, is obliged to take into account the past history of this individual and the way in which he has conducted himself," said Mr Ryan.

"We have already changed laws to ensure tougher penalties for the offences of the nature of those committed by Bayley."

Mr Ryan said the issues around Bayley getting parole in the first place would be looked at in a review by former High Court judge Ian Callinan.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News