THE MAN CHARGED with the rape and murder of Irishwoman Jill Meagher appeared in court in Melbourne early this morning and has been remanded in custody to face a committal hearing on 18 January.
41-year-old Adrian Ernest Bayley was charged yesterday after the woman’s body was found in a shallow grave at 1.45am local time. The site is about 55km from where the 29-year-old went missing and it is believed that Bayley travelled with police to assist them in their search.
The woman’s brother Michael McKeon and her husband Tom Meagher were present in court. Speaking outside the court afterwards, Tom Meagher thanked the public for its support.
“I just wanted to say very briefly that despite the fact that this is the worst thing that we’ll ever go through in our lives, I’ve been really humbled by the support of the Australian public, the tireless efforts of the police and all the friends and family who have put their lives on hold to help us out,” he said.
Meagher appealed to the public to be “mindful” now of negative comments on social media that “may hurt legal proceedings”.
Victoria Police also issued a statement asking members of the social media community to refrain from posting inappropriate comments that might jeopardise a successful prosecution.
This morning, ABC presenter John Faine made an emotional tribute to his colleague and her friends and family. He said:
A bunch of people leave this workplace and go out to celebrate birthdays with Friday dinner and drinks. Some people wander off, some people stay on, and eventually in the absolutely normal course of a bunch of people enjoying Melbourne’s nightlife together, someone starts to walk home minutes away from where they are. And then it all goes bad.
He said Meagher would not want people to allow what happened to her to become a definition of life in Melbourne today.
“Jill wouldn’t want us triple locking the door and installing closed-circuit televisions everywhere as if we live under siege, because that’s not what it’s about,” he said.
“So, this morning we will pay our respect to our friend, our colleague, and there is a very empty space in our office this morning.”