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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 3 July, 2020

Priest says Jill Meagher would've been 'home in bed' on night of murder if she had stronger faith

Jill Meagher’s family are set to sue the state of Victoria as they claim the government failed to protect their daughter by letting Bayley out on parole.

A CATHOLIC PRIEST reportedly told a primary school in Melbourne that if Jill Meagher was ‘more faith-filled’ she ‘would have been home in bed’ on the night she was murdered.

The 29-year-old was raped and murdered by Adrian Ernest Bayley in Melbourne in 2012. Bayley is now serving a life sentence.

The 3AW Drive program heard that the priest held up a newspaper with Adrian Bayley’s face on it while making the comments.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne denied the priest commented on the Irishwoman’s faith. However, Monsignor Greg Bennett said:

I’ve spoken with the priest, he acknowledges that the homily wasn’t appropriate and apologises for the offence and upset it has caused.

It comes as the family Jill Meagher are set to join a lawsuit against the state of Victoria as they claim the region failed to protect their daughter by letting Bayley out on parole.

The 43-year-old was on parole at the time he raped and killed the Drogheda native close to her home in the Australian city – despite being convicted of assault while on parole in 2012.

Bayley was convicted of three further rapes earlier this week, meaning he has now been found guilty of ten cases of rape.

The Herald-Sun has reported that the Meaghers will join the families of other people who were killed by criminals out on parole.

Speaking after Bayley was convicted of three further rapes earlier this week - Jill’s father, George McKeon, said it was clear the Victorian Parole Board “failed to protect their daughter and many others in the community”.

As a family, we have until now been very mindful not to make any statement or take any actions that might delay the outstanding criminal proceedings against Jillian’s murderer.

“However now that these proceedings are completed we want to try and obtain closure to ensure that other families don’t have to endure this trauma.”

Read: Man who raped and killed Jill Meagher convicted of three more rapes>

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