Adrian Bayley, who was convicted of raping and murdering Irish woman Jill Meagher in Melbourne in 2012, has launched a court action after Victoria Legal Aid refused to fund an appeal to reduce his 43-year minimum jail term.
Bayley, 43, was given a life sentence, with a non-parole period of 35 years, for his attack on Ms Meagher as she walked home from a night out in Melbourne three years ago.
In May he was found guilty of three more violent rapes and was sentenced to 18 years in jail for those crimes and had his non-parole period extended.
Bayley has appealed against two of those convictions but Legal Aid has refused to fund them.
Victoria Legal Aid said its decision was upheld by an independent reviewer. “The independent reviewer makes decisions about funding separately from Victoria Legal Aid and is a robust check and balance on our decision making,” it said in a statement.
“The independent reviewer must take into account factors specified in the Legal Aid Act when deciding whether to grant funding in a case.
“In this matter the independent reviewer upheld VLA’s decision not to grant funding.”
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said he stood by Legal Aid’s decision and is prepared to help stop Bayley’s action.
“I think Legal Aid has made exactly the right call,” he said. “I support them in defending the judgement that they’ve made to deny Adrian Bayley any public resources at all.
“If the government needs to join that action, then we will.”