Friday 19 January 2018

Jill's family seek privacy to move on

Jill Meagher was murdered in the early hours of 22 September 2012.
Jill Meagher was murdered in the early hours of 22 September 2012.

Alison Comyn

THE DROGHEDA family of Jill Meagher is hoping to draw a line under her death, and move out of the glare of the media, now her killer's sentence appeal has failed.

Jill's uncle Michael McKeon said they are obviously pleased that Adrian Bayley's life sentence for her rape and murder will stand, however they now see it as a chance to mourn privately at last.

'We had the Mass in St Peter's Church last week to mark the first anniversary of her death, and now this will bring closure to what happened and hopefully allow it to become more of a private matter,' he told the Drogheda Independent.

'Everyone will always be thinking of her and us in Drogheda, and that is good, but everyone has lost someone, and we hope it will become more normal now.'

Serial sex offender Bayley was sentenced to life in prison in June and ordered to serve a minimum of 35 years for her murder and 15 years for her rape.

Last week, the 41-year-old's legal team argued a non-parole period, or minimum term, of between 28 and 32 years was more appropriate, but his bid was refused.

Jill's husband Thomas reacted angrily on Facebook to the appeal, calling it a waste of public money.

'He (Bayley) has now come out no better or worse off,' he commented.

'There is no deterrent for these lifers not to appeal, and no punishment for further stretching the tight budgets of the system.'

Michael said the cost of the judicial system can cause anger.

'But it is no different here than it is in Australia,' he pointed out. 'It can appear a waste, but I suppose it is all part of the system.'

Meanwhile, thousands of people once again took to the streets in Jill's adopted hometown in Melbourne to mark the first anniversary of her death.

The route of the 'peace march' took in Sydney Road in Brunswick, the location from where Jill was abducted prior to her murder.

Drogheda Independent

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