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Saturday 20 January 2018

New parole law passed in wake of Jill's murder

Jill Meagher
Jill Meagher

Nick Bramhill

TOUGH laws that will make breaching parole a crime have finally been passed in the Australian state of Victoria in response to the murder of Irish woman Jill Meagher (pictured).

Police in Victoria can now arrest and detain parolees who have breached their release conditions and those convicted of the new offence face up to three months in jail or fines of nearly Aus$4,200 (€3,000).

The Legislative Council in Victoria passed the new laws last Thursday afternoon.

The new legislation followed a damning report, released last month, which found the parole board exposed the community to higher risk because its decisions were tiltled in favour of offenders, not victims.

The parole system review came after at least a dozen recent murders by parolees, including the rape and murder of 29-year-old Ms Meagher, from Drogheda, Co Louth, in Melbourne in September last year.

Her killer, Adrian Ernest Bayley (41), was sentenced in June to life in prison with a minimum term of 35 years for her rape and murder.

Following his conviction, serious questions were raised after it emerged that Bayley had been sexually assaulting women since his teens, had continued to do so after imprisonment, failed to report to parole officers and fractured a man's jaw while on parole before he raped and murdered Ms Meagher last year.

Irish Independent

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