Man who killed Jill Meagher denied legal aid for appeal

Australian Adrian Bayley sought to overturn convictions over two further violent rapes

CCTV footage  captured  Jill Meagher being approached as she walked home from a night out with work colleagues in Melbourne on September 22nd, 2012.

CCTV footage captured Jill Meagher being approached as she walked home from a night out with work colleagues in Melbourne on September 22nd, 2012.

 

Adrian Bayley, who was convicted of raping and murdering Irish woman Jill Meagher, has challenged the refusal to grant him legal aid to fund his bid to reduce his 43-year minimum jail term.

Bayley (43) was given a life sentence, with a non-parole period of 35 years, for his attack on Ms Meagher as she walked home from a night out with work colleagues in Melbourne on September 22nd, 2012.

In May, he was found guilty of three more violent rapes. He was sentenced to 18 years in jail for those crimes and had his non-parole period extended to 43 years.

Bayley appealed against two of those convictions but Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) has refused to fund them.

VLA said its decision was upheld independently. “The independent reviewer makes decisions about funding separately from Victoria Legal Aid and is a robust check and balance on our decision making,” it said in a statement.

“The independent reviewer must take into account factors specified in the Legal Aid Act when deciding whether to grant funding in a case.

“In this matter the independent reviewer upheld VLA’s decision not to grant funding.”

Bayley’s lawyers claim the decision to refuse him funding is incompatible with Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights because it denied “the right of any person convicted of a criminal offence to have the conviction and any sentence imposed in respect of it reviewed by a higher court”.

But Victoria’s state premier, Daniel Andrews, said he stood by VLA’s decision and is prepared to help stop Bayley’s action.

“I think Legal Aid has made exactly the right call,” he said. “I support them in defending the judgement that they’ve made to deny Adrian Bayley any public resources at all.

“If the government needs to join that action, then we will.”