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Jill Meagher's family feel no 'anger or bitterness' towards Adrian Bayley

The 41-year-old was jailed for at least 35 years for the rape and murder of the Irish woman in Melbourne last September.

A mourner holds a mass card at the memorial mass for murdered Irish woman Jill Meagher at St Peter's Church, Drogheda.
A mourner holds a mass card at the memorial mass for murdered Irish woman Jill Meagher at St Peter's Church, Drogheda.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

“THE FAMILY WANTED a heavy sentence and they have got that, and at least we know now one else is in danger,” said Catherine McKeon, aunt of the late Jill Meagher, speaking following the life sentence handed down to Jill’s murderer and rapist Adrian Bayley earlier.

Catherine, speaking to Miriam O’Callaghan on The John Murray Show, said the family felt no sense of “anger or bitterness” as “that just drags you down and brings you to his [Bayley's] place.”

The 41-year-old was jailed for at least 35 years for the rape and murder of the Irish journalist in Melbourne last September. Bayley has a string of previous convictions for sexual and violent offences but had been out of prison on parole at the time of the brutal attack. He will be 76 years old before he becomes eligible for parole again.

Adrian Bayley being taken away in handcuffs by Australian police. (Pic: ABC News)

Meagher’s aunt said Bayley’s sentence “was all part of the closure” that the family now needed.

“It’s something that no one expects to come at our doors, but it has come to our door and we have to do the best we can with it and keep Jill’s memory alive,” she said.

Jill Meagher was reported missing last September when she failed to return from a night out with work colleagues. From the moment Jill’s family heard about her disappearance, Catherine said they knew it was “serious” because it was so out of character for her.

“Gillian would never have let her parents suffer and not tell them where she went,” said Catherine. “She was such a responsible young woman, they knew straight away this was serious”.

Her body was found six days later in a shallow grave about 55kms from where she was last seen alive.

Michael McKeon, Jill’s uncle, told Newstalk Breakfast that the family now need time and space to grieve Jill.

“Most people don’t grieve when someone dies when’s it’s in the public. Now the sentence has been handed down her parents will be able to grieve,” he said.

Related: Jill Meagher’s rapist and killer jailed for at least 35 years>
More: Adrian Bayley was on parole when he raped and killed Jill Meagher>

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Amy Croffey

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