Adrian Bayley has failed with a court bid to reduce his 35-year minimum sentence for the rape and murder of Jill Meagher.
His application to seek leave to appeal was today refused by Chief Justice Marilyn Warren and Justices Marcia Neave and Paul Coughlan. The reasons will be published at a later date.
Bayley’s only recourse now is the High Court.
The Australian reported that Bayley’s lawyer said the 35-year non-parole period set by the Victorian Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Nettle was excessive.
“It is our respectful submission that the sentencing judge … made two specific errors,” Bayley’s barrister Saul Holt SC told the Victorian Court of Appeal, The Australian reported.
Bayley was sentenced to life for the murder plus 15 years for rape by Justice Geoffrey Nettle in June.
Mr Holt said the defence had accepted both head sentences were appropriate. But said Justice Nettle should have taken community protection into account when setting the head sentence but not for the non-parole period.
Today’s court decision comes just days after Mrs Meagher’s family marked the first anniversary of her death.
Her widower Tom Meagher paid tribute to everyone who has supported him throughout the year on his public Facebook page this week. “A massive thank you to all of you wonderful people who have supported us so selflessly since Jill was taken from us last year,” he wrote.
“I don’t know how I would have coped without all of your love and kindness. Thank you.”
Her friend and work colleague Skye Condon also paid tribute to Jill on her anniversary on the page. “Today everyone please spare a thought for a beautiful funny girl a little light has gone out in our world but is now visible when the sun goes down at night in the sky,” she wrote.
Bayley grabbed Ms Meagher as she was walking along a Melbourne street after a night out with her friends in the early hours of September 22, 2012. He dragged her into a laneway where he raped her and her body was found in a shallow grave in Gisborne South.
During the sentencing Justice Nettle said it was “a savage violent rape of the worst kind”.