Jill Meagher murder was 'preventable': Australian coroner
THE murder of Irish woman Jill Meagher could have been prevented, a coroner in Australia has said.
Ms Meagher (29) from Co Louth was raped and murdered by Adrian Bayley in Melbourne in September 2012.
Bayley was on parole from a prison sentence for raping five other women when he snatched Ms Meagher off Sydney Road in Brunswick as she was walking home after a night out with friends.
Ms Meagher's body was discovered in a shallow grave about 50km northwest of Melbourne.
Coroner Ian Gray yesterday said he believed the young woman's murder could have been prevented if Bayley had been immediately taken into custody when he breached parole.
Judge Gray said Bayley should have been returned to prison months earlier when he was on parole after he was involved in an assault in the Geelong area.
Judge Gray handed down written findings into the death of Ms Meagher after her family had requested that no inquest be held.
"Gillian Meagher’s death was preventable," he said.
"A more rigorous, risk averse approach by CCS (Community Correctional Services) and the APB (Adult Parole Board) would have led to a cancellation of Bayley's parole," he said.
"The approach taken is difficult to understand ... it did not bring dangerous and high risk parolees immediately to account."
The government in the Australian state of Victoria enacted widespread law reform to tighten rules governing parole since Ms Meagher's murder.
While Judge Gray said he recognised the parole system had been rectified which has been were 'significant and entirely positive', he also said the overhaul of parole laws was still in its "early days".
Bayley was jailed for at least 35 years for the rape and murder of Ms Meagher.
The term was extended to 43 years after he was sentenced in May 2015 for three further rape convictions, including one attack which he carried out a few months before he murdered Ms Meagher.