THE MAN accused of the rape and murder of Drogheda woman Jill Meagher near her home in Melbourne, Australia last year, will contest the charges laid against him.
Melbourne Magistrates Court heard last Thursday that Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, is to contest the allegations at a committal hearing to begin on March 12.
Bayley, who appeared via videolink, has been held on remand at Melbourne Assessment Prison, after being charged with the rape and murder of the 29-year-old Drogheda woman in September last year.
He spoke only to say 'Yes, I can, yes' after the magistrate asked him whether he could see and hear the court.
According to Australian press, Jill's husband Thomas was not present in court, and Bayley sat in a video room at the prison, was clean-shaven and in a black shirt with no tie.
He sat with his hands clasped on a desk.
The court was told he had insisted he would contest the charges of raping and murdering of Jill Meagher on September 22 last.
The judge granted a continuance of a suppression order banning any damaging or potentially prejudicial material about Mr Bayley being published, particularly on social networking sites.
No application was made for bail and Mr Bayley will appear again for a two-day committal hearing on March 12.
Ms Meagher had been out with friends in the Brunswick area of Melbourne before she went missing.
Her body was found in a shallow grave beside a dirt road in Gisborne South, about 45km from where she was last seen.
A memorial ceremony was held in St Peter's Church, West Street, Drogheda on October 5 last year, the same day as her burial in her adopted home of Melbourne.