Thursday 14 December 2017

Family's shock at killer's 'Good Samaritan' story to police

Peter Gregory

SITTING to the side of the man who raped and killed her daughter, Edith McKeon shook her head in disbelief as she heard the words of the man responsible for her daughter's death.

She and her husband George looked serious and calm as they heard the circumstances leading up to the death of 29-year-old Jill Meagher.

In the 19th-Century courtroom, they were seated to the side of the wooden dock containing the man responsible, Adrian Bayley.

As Justice Geoffrey Nettle delivered his sentencing remarks, Mrs McKeon sat on one of the wood-backed seats and listened to him read out Bayley's initial words to police.

In the police interview, the now-confessed killer tried to present himself almost as a Good Samaritan.

He said he saw Jill walking along Sydney Road, in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, looking like she was lost and distraught.

It was shortly before 1.40am last September 27.

Bayley said he offered to help Jill, but "she flipped me off and that made me angry, because I was actually trying to do a nice thing". He claimed he then walked in front of Jill and she followed. "And it just got worse," he told police.

Mr and Mrs McKeon, and Jill's husband, Tom, showed little emotion in court, even as Justice Nettle detailed what he called an intentional killing in the aftermath of a violent rape.

The judge looked directly at Bayley while outlining the crimes and his sentencing duties. Justice Nettle said he had to consider punishment, community protection, Bayley's past behaviour and remorse, and the possibility of rehabilitation when passing sentence.

He said Bayley was entitled to a discounted sentence for pleading guilty to the crimes.

Bayley had saved the state the cost of a trial, and witnesses and jurors the distress that would accompany it.

"As your criminal record reveals, you are a recidivist violent offender who has had little compunction about sexual offending when the mood takes you, or about threatening and inflicting violence as part of the process," Justice Nettle told Bayley.

"The combination of rape and murder of the kind you have committed is particularly heinous and, in your case, it is made even worse by your attempt to conceal (Jill's) body and the fact that the offending was committed while you were on parole and on bail."

In May, Bayley told a psychologist Jill had called him back after he had walked away from her. He said she slapped him in the face when he kissed her and tried to touch her bottom. Then, he "lost it".

Bayley raped Jill in what Justice Nettle described as a savage and degrading attack. Bayley said Jill became angry, hit him with her mobile phone and threatened to call police. He said she fell and hit her head on concrete when he grabbed her in an attempt to "quieten her down". He held her down with his hand on the bottom part of her neck and maintained pressure until she stopped moving.

In his version of events, Bayley left Jill's body in the laneway and returned with his car. He loaded her body into the boot and drove about 55 kilometres to a town called Gisborne South, where he buried her.

He threw some of the clothing he had ripped from her into the grave, then threw items of her personal possessions out of his car as he drove home. He destroyed Jill's phone at his house, and over the weekend had his car detailed inside and out, and had four new tyres fitted.

He was undone by CCTV footage, tollway records, telephone data and witness statements. After confessing, he led police to the grave.

Justice Nettle said Bayley became outraged when Jill tried to repel his advances. "You were determined to have your way with her, and so you overpowered her and raped her where she stood. Then you attacked her again because she was threatening to call the police and, in the process, you strangled her to death," he said.

Bayley had committed rapes and other violent sexual assaults when he was 18 and 29.

In 2002, Bayley was jailed for 11 years, with an eight-year minimum term, after violent sexual attacks on five prostitutes, who he perceived as easy victims unlikely to complain to police. The sentencing judge in that case said Bayley deliberately humiliated each victim.

He told another woman that she was nothing and no one cared for her.

"I could dump you in the f**king alley and no one will give a s**t," Bayley said.

"Did that f**king hurt? See, look who's got the power. See, I can do whatever I want."

Irish Independent

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