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Monday 22 January 2018

Jill Meagher's killer raped me but I never told police, says former girlfriend

Adrian Ernest Bayley
Adrian Ernest Bayley

A FORMER girlfriend of the man who raped and murdered Jill Meagher has claimed she was raped by him in 2011.

Speaking to an Australian magazine, Loretta O’Neill said she was raped by Adrian Ernest Bayley at the start of a six-month relationship – a little more than a year before Ms Meagher was killed in Melbourne.

Now Ms O’Neill has said she is hugely regretful that she did not call the police – and said he is guilt-ridden and plagued with ‘what if’ scenarios.

The 35-year-old mother of two young children says she had no clue at the time of Bayley's sexually violent criminal pat that he was on parole for raping five women when she dated him.

"He was on parole," Ms O'Neill told Cleo.

"If I had gone to the cops and he was arrested, he would have been locked up and that poor woman could have been saved. Shit, I should've..."

Ms O’Neill only learned of Bayley’s horrific past when he was arrested for the rape and murder of Ms Meagher (29), who was originally from Louth.

She contacted police and informed them of the alleged rape, and there may be further charges.

The former retail assistant says she and Bayley were getting ready for bed when he began taking off her pyjamas against her wishes.

She said she had already "told him [at the beginning of the relationship] that I wouldn't sleep with him straight away and that he needed to be patient..."

However, Ms O'Neill said Bayley ignored her and allegedly raped her.

She said she was too scared to do anything about it and added she feels sick she continued to date the man for several months afterwards.

Ms O'Neill offered a simple and heartfelt message to the family of Ms Meagher.

"I am so very, very, sorry."

The 41-year-old Bayley lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court in June, over the length of his prison sentence, handed down by Justice Geoffrey Nettle as life in prison with a minimum term of 35 years.

He pleaded guilty to raping and killing Ms Meagher in the early hours of September 22 last year in a laneway in Brunswick.

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