28/09/2012

Man Charged With Rape And Murder Of Jill Meagher

A man has appeared in court in Melbourne charged with the rape and murder of Irish woman Jill Meagher.

Ms Meaghers body was discovered on Thursday night in a shallow grave beside a dirt track in Gisborne South, 50km from where she had gone missing.

41-year-old Adrian Ernest Bayley is charged with the rape and murder of the Drogheda native, who went missing on Saturday 22 after a night out with work friends.

Police have said that they do not have any other suspects and think that it was an opportunistic, random attack.

Jill’s husband, Tom, and brother Michael McKeon where in the court for the defendants appearance.

Deputy chief magistrate Jelena Popovic, noting there were “grief stricken” relatives in court, asked if the police and the prosecutor, Luke Exell, would like to talk with the family members before the hearing proceeded.

The packed courtroom was then cleared for a private meeting. Tom Meagher and his brother-in-law Michael McKeon held each other’s hand in court as Mr Bayley briefly appeared.

The accused replied “Yes” when Ms Popovic asked him if he understood that she could not grant him bail due to the gravity of the charge.

He will next face the court at a committal hearing scheduled for January 18th.

(H)

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