Jill Meagher killer appeals against length of sentence

Adrian Bayley was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 35 years

Adrian Bayley is seen after his sentencing in June. Photograph: Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Adrian Bayley is seen after his sentencing in June. Photograph: Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Fri, Jul 19, 2013, 11:27

Adrian Bayley, the man who raped and murdered Irish woman Jill Meagher in Australia, has launched an appeal against the length of his sentence.

Bayley was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 35 years last month after pleading guilty to the rape and murder of the Co Louth woman in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick on September 22nd last year.

A Victoria supreme court spokesperson confirmed that an appeal was lodged this morning. Ms Meagher’s family has been informed of the appeal, although no date had been set for matter to be heard in court.

Bayley’s appeal is on the grounds that the sentence handed down by Justice Geoffrey Nettle was excessive.

Mr Justice Nettle sentenced Bayley to 15 years for the rape of Ms Meagher and life for her murder. The 35-year non-parole period means that Bayley will not be eligible for release until he is 76.

Mr Justice Nettle said Bayley had committed a “savage and degrading” assault on Meagher that was among the worst kind ever committed upon a woman in Victoria.

Bayley attacked 29-year-old Ms Meagher shortly after she left Bar Etiquette in Sydney Road, Brunswick at 1.30am.

Bayley, who was captured on CCTV running behind Ms Meagher on Sydney Road, dragged his victim into a nearby laneway off Hope Street before raping and strangling her.

It emerged during the case that Bayley was on parole at the time of the attack for punching a man in Geelong. His history of offending was also revealed, showing that he had been previously found guilty of 20 rapes over a 23-year period, 11 years of which he spent in jail.

Bayley has previously appealed against the severity of a sentence. He appealed against a three-month term he was given after being convicted of assault by the Geelong magistrates court.

Bayley’s case has caused angst in Victoria’s political and legal circles, with the state government admitting the system had “failed” Ms Meagher, pledging to review the parole regime.

Guardian