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This man's story shows that courts still don't consider rape a serious crime.

Until today, the media couldn’t reveal the full extent of Adrian Bayley’s horrific crimes.

Why was this man on the streets of Melbourne?

Why was this man – a self-confessed dangerous predator – free to be walking around, at night, hunting for victims?

Why was this man able to commit the vile crime that has seen him locked away, finally, for life?

The simple answer is that the courts don’t consider rape a serious enough offence to deprive a man of his freedom.

Adrian Bayley – the man who raped and killed Jill Meagher in 2012 -has just been found guilty of raping three more women, two of whom were raped mere months before Jill’s death.

For the past eight months the media have not been able to report on these crimes, as Bayley’s name has been suppressed by court order to protect his identity during trial.

Read the latest here: Adrian Bayley has been found guilty of three more rapes.

At the time of these four most recent rapes (including the rape and murder of Jill Meagher) Bayley was out on parole having already been found guilty of multiple other rapes, in crimes which span more than two decades.

Floral tributes for Jill Meagher.

In total, Bayley has now been found guilty of more than 20 rapes, making him one of the most notorious serial rapists alive. And yet despite his long career of raping random women, he was returned to our streets not once, but twice, after serving staggeringly brief jail sentences for his continuing crimes against women.

His offending began (that authorities are aware of) when he was just 19 years old, when he raped two teenage girls: a 16-year-old family friend and a 16-year-old hitchhiker.

For these crimes he was ordered to serve a five year sentence, but was released after a mere 22 months, having faked his way through a sex offender program in order to secure early release.

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In September 2000, he commenced another rape spree, trapping in his car and then repeatedly raping at least five different sex workers over a six-month period.

For these crimes, he was given a minimum eight-year jail sentence.

A court reporter’s depiction of Bayley.

After being set loose again, Bayley then assaulted a man, punching him unconscious outside a Geelong café. He pleaded guilty to this assault and was given a three-month jail sentence. However, Bayley appealed against this sentence and was released again, as the parole board did not consider the assault against the man to raise alarm bells, as it was not a sex crime.

Bayley – who has described himself as a “bad guy” – had already admitted to police that he faked his way through the sex-offender program in order to secure an early release. He has since stated that “[society] should have the death penalty for people like me”.

People walk through Brunswick on the first anniversary of Jill Meagher’s death.

The case highlights how woefully ineffective the criminal justice system is at dealing with these offenders, and how lenient the courts continue to be to men who rape women. The fact that a woman had to die for this man to finally be put in jail for good illustrates that our courts still do not consider rape, or the safety of women and their right to control their bodies, anywhere near seriously enough.

More on this: Jill Meagher’s murderer sentenced to life in prison.

One also wonders how many other assaults he might have gone on to commit had Jill Meagher been raped but not murdered. Without the intense media coverage which followed her disappearance, there wouldn’t have been anywhere near the public pressure to solve her case (just as there hadn’t been with the various other unsolved rapes he had already committed in previous months).

Bayley himself sums up the entire situation perfectly: “How many chances does a person need? They should never have let me out.”

How do you feel about the revelations about Adrian Bayley’s past. Are you surprised that he was able to walk free?