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Tom Meagher slams parole board as 'cowards' for not answering emails

The state premier of Victoria has said members of the board will now sit down with Jill Meagher’s husband to listen to his concerns.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

TOM MEAGHER HAS gone public with emails he sent to the parole board for the state of Victoria, after he failed to receive answers as to why his wife’s killer was allowed free from prison early following a previous conviction.

The board has said it usually responds to emails within 24 hours, but that the messages in question were caught up in its spam filter. Denis Naphthine, the state premier of Victoria, has since indicated that representatives of the board will meet with Tom to listen to his concerns.

According to ABC News, Meagher’s first email to the board, dated 24 June, says “nobody within your system has the guts to offer an explanation or apology for your negligence”.

He goes on to the ask five questions, including asking what kind of risk assessment process took place when considering parole and “in particular, what were the criteria for the release of Adrian Ernest Bayley?”. Meagher waited five days for a response, before sending a follow-up message:

I can see the vigour you put into capriciously pouring rapists and murderers on to our streets does not extend to responding to victims of your incompetence.

Whether this is the slow-moving cogs of government bureaucracy, laziness or good old-fashioned cowardice is of little importance to me (although I would imagine the latter is probably on the money).

You have failed, not only to answer my very direct questions, but to respond with even a bog standard template email.

The message concludes: “Your silence speaks volumes”.

File photo of Tom Meagher (Image: ABC news)

It emerged last month that 41-year-old Adrian Ernest Bayley – who was sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of the young Louth woman in Melbourne – was on conditional release at the time of the attack last year for raping five prostitutes in 2002. Initially sentenced to 11 years in prison, he was released on parole in 2011.

His parole wasn’t cancelled, despite a violent assault and a warning from a sitting judge that the public needed protection. It is understood it wasn’t revoked because the crime was not of a sexual nature.

A review of the parole board is currently being carried out by a senior retired judge, with a report due within the next few weeks.

Premier Naphthine  said Tom Meagher would have “every reason to be very disappointed that his emails haven’t been dealt with and dealt with appropriately”.

He said the state’s Minister for Corrections had met with representatives of the parole board, and that they had indicated that they would now meet with Tom Meagher.

Read: Jill Meagher killer appeals length of sentence

Read: Jill Meagher’s rapist and killer jailed for at least 35 years >

Read: Adrian Bayley was on parole when he raped and killed Jill Meagher >

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