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Jill Meagher's murder 'was preventable' says Australian coroner

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image captionJill Meagher was attacked on her way home from a night out in Melbourne

The Australian authorities could have prevented the rape and murder of Irish woman Jill Meagher by revoking her killer's parole as soon as he breached it, a coroner has found.

No inquest has been held into the 2012 murder at her family's request.

Ms Meagher was originally from Drogheda, but moved to Australia from Ireland in 2009 with her husband.

She worked for ABC Radio but went missing during a night out with colleagues.

Her body was discovered six days later buried on the outskirts of Melbourne.

Adrian Bayley, who had a history of violent sex attacks, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum jail term of 35 years for her murder.

On Friday, coroner Ian Gray said Jill Meagher's death had been "preventable".

He pointed to failings by Community Correctional Services (CCS), a division of Corrections Victoria and the Adult Parole Board (APB), a separate body within the Department of Human services.

"A more rigorous, risk-averse approach by CCS and the APB would have led to a cancellation of Bayley's parole," Mr Gray said.

"The approach taken is difficult to understand ... it did not bring dangerous and high risk parolees immediately to account."

Bayley had been on parole for previous rapes when he raped and murdered Ms Meagher as she walked home from Brunswick in the early hours of 22 September 2012.

He was also on bail pending an appeal of a three-month sentence after pleading guilty to attacking a man outside a pub at Geelong in 2011.

At the time of that incident, Bayley had been on parole after serving eight years' jail for 16 counts of rape against five women.

He had already served time for rapes committed from the age of 18.

The coroner noted Victoria's parole system had been amended since Ms Meagher's murder.

Had it been changed when Bayley was charged with the Geelong assault, a representative from Corrections Victoria told the coroner, his parole probably would have been cancelled automatically when he was convicted of that offence.

"The poignant truth of this ... will resonate with Ms Meagher's husband, family and friends," the coroner said.

Related Topics

  • Australia
  • Drogheda

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