UPDATE 2: Jill Meagher’s husband, Tom, appeared on ABC’s 7.30 Report tonight. Although he has said little publicly since losing his wife, he gave a deeply moving interview this evening in remembrance of Jill.
“My life completely and utterly changed in that one night. The support of family friends really pulled me through, and are still pulling me through. Nobody’s given up on me for a second,” Tom said.
In his sentencing, Justice Nettle described Bayley as displaying “some small degree of genuine remorse”, an assessment which Tom refutes.
“I don’t see how he was remorseful. I don’t see how a man who continually does the same thing over and over again, could be considered remorseful,” he explained.
The most moving portion of the interview came when Tom was asked to describe what his wife had been like while she was alive. Clearing his throat, Tom said, “You would have met the funniest girl in the world. She was incredibly funny, and incredibly witty. Just so smart and intelligent. She brightened up any room she was in.”
Tom explained that remembering Jill was difficult but said that, “It’s worth it to try, it’s worth it to try and remember Jill.”
UPDATE: Adrian Earnest Bayley – the man who raped and killed 29-year-old Melbourne woman Jill Meagher – has been sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 35 years.
People in the public gallery were reportedly crying as Justice Geoffrey Nettle delivered the sentence in front of Meagher’s family and husband, Tom.
Justice Nettle described Bayley’s crimes as “heinous”. He said Bayley had wrecked many lives with his crimes and that the sentence should have regard to that. “Your killing of the deceased ranks among the worst kind,” Justice Nettle said.
Justice Nettle said Bayley continued to pose a threat to the general community of that protection of the community is paramount.
In a statement following the sentencing, Jill Meagher’s father spoke on behalf of her family saying: “Justice has been done”.
Last week when a suppression order was lifted on Bayley’s case, it was revealed that the 41-year-old had a history of violent crimes -including at least 20 convictions of rape and assault – and should have been in jail when he attacked Meagher.
At the time, Mamamia Editor Jamila Rizvi wrote:
I did not know Jill Meagher.
I never spoke to her. Or joked with her. I never saw her break out into giggles, nor did I ever seek out her wisdom or advice. I never hugged her in excitement, slapped her on the back in jest, praised her or congratulated her on her efforts. I never comforted her or calmed her, or counseled her or cared for her.
I never loved her.
But like countless other Australians, I know her smiling face. And I know her story.