SERIAL sex offender Adrian Ernest Bayley has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of Irish woman Jill Meagher.
Appearing before Victoria State Supreme Court in Melbourne earlier today, Bayley (41) was told he must serve a 35- year term before he can apply for parole.
Bayley had previous convictions for raping five women – he will be 76 before he can even consider applying for parole.
The bodybuilder pleaded guilty to raping and strangling Ms Meagher (29) as she walked home from a bar following a night out with work colleagues in Melbourne.
Bayley accosted her on a busy street and dragged her into a lane only a few hundred yards from her home. He was caught on CCTV approaching her.
Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Nettle said Bayley's offending was particularly heinous. He said this was made even worse as he had tried to conceal Jill's body, and had raped and murdered her while on parole.
Mr Justice Nettle said it was his belief that Bayley intended to murder Jill either because she threatened to call the police after he savagely raped her or because he took perverse pleasure in taking her life.
The murder ranked as one of the worst ever committed in Victoria, Mr Justice Nettle said.
He said he had decided to impose a non-parole period of 35 years for Bayley to give him some incentive to try to rehabilitate himself in prison. He also said he considered Bayley's guilty plea reflected some small degree of remorse.
"The deceased was unknown to you," the judge told Bayley.
"You were larger and stronger than she and you used that physical advantage to dominate her. In effect, you dragged her off the street, late at night while she was peaceably going about her own business within a stone's throw of her home.
"The rape was savage and degrading."
Bayley had been out socialising with his then partner on the night of September 21 last.
The pair visited several establishments before having a row.
Bayley left the woman and took a taxi in the direction of home. The taxi driver said the killer was intoxicated and he was worried he was going to vomit in the cab. So he asked Bayley to get out of the cab.
Speaking after the sentencing, Jill's husband Tom Meagher told the court his faith in mankind had been destroyed.
"I think of the waste of a brilliant mind and a beautiful soul at the hands of a grotesque and soulless human being," he said in his victim impact statement.
"I am half a person because of this crime," he added.
Jill's father George McKeon read a brief statement outside court in which he thanked police and prosecutors.