Blow to Jill's family as her killer appeals 35-year term
THE family of Jill Meagher are to endure further pain as her killer Adrian Ernest Bayley has lodged an appeal. However, they had been expecting him to do so.
Rapist and murderer Bayley was jailed last month in Melbourne, Australia, for a minimum of 35 years. He had been out on parole when he raped and strangled the 29-year-old ABC radio employee, who was from Louth.
Lawyers for Bayley have lodged his appeal papers with the Supreme Court in Melbourne.
"It is part of the due process that happens. The family were expecting it, appeals work both ways. It is the process in most countries," said Jill's uncle Michael McKeon from his home in Co Louth.
It is understood that Bayley has appealed on the grounds that his term was excessive.
Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Nettle had stated he could find little reason to believe Bayley would be rehabilitated.
He sentenced Bayley to a non-parole period of 35 years for him to "strive for rehabilitation". Bayley received life imprisonment for murder and 15 years for rape.
The judge described the murder as one of the worst in the Victoria region's history. He said Bayley's record showed him to be a "recidivist violent sexual offender".
If Bayley, now listed on the sex offenders' register for life, had not pleaded guilty, then he would have been jailed for life without any chance of parole.
Crime-victim advocate Noel McNamara said he believed the Australian taxpayers would be footing the legal bill for the appeal.
"It's a complete joke to the taxpayer," he told the Australian newspaper 'Herald Sun'. "It's shocking that a bloke with a criminal record as long as his arm could be allowed to appeal."
He said the Meagher family would likely go through hell again during the appeal, adding: "They were happy knowing there was every chance Bayley would die in jail. This (appeal) is a terrible thing. I really feel sorry for them."
Bayley was out on parole and bail at the time that he raped and strangled Ms Meagher only a short distance from her home, where her husband Tom was waiting for her.
She had been returning home alone after a night out with work colleagues.