– The man accused of killing Jill Meagher will contest allegations he raped and murdered the ABC employee, who disappeared while walking home alone.
Adrian Ernest Bailey, 41, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court via video link from prison yesterday.
He spoke no more than six words during the 10-minute mention hearing.
“Yes, I can, yes,” he said when Deputy Chief Magistrate Felicity Broughton asked if he could see and hear the proceedings via his monitor in the jail video room.
Mr Bayley, charged with raping and murdering Ms Meagher in Brunswick on September 22nd last year, sat mute throughout the rest of the proceeding, as a two-day committal hearing was booked for March 12th and 13th.
Witnesses will be cross-examined during that hearing, which will determine whether there is sufficient evidence for Mr Bayley to stand trial.
An interpreter would be needed for the first day of the hearing, the court was told.
Mr Bayley appeared clean-shaven in a dark designer-style suit without a tie.
He sat, hands clasped on a desk, as Ms Broughton granted a defence application to extend a suppression order. Last October, Ms Broughton banned publication – predominantly on social media – of any damaging or potentially prejudicial material about Mr Bayley.
Yesterday she extended the order until March 12th.
Two female friends of Ms Meagher were in court yesterday. Ms Meagher’s husband, Tom, and her brother, Michael McKeon – who both attended Mr Bayley’s first court appearance in September – were not present.
At the end of yesterday’s hearing, Ms Broughton asked defence lawyer Helen Spowart: “I take it there’s no application for bail?”
“No, Your Honour,” Ms Spowart replied.
Mr Bayley, of Coburg, was remanded to reappear at court on March 12th.
It is alleged Mr Bayley abducted Ms Meagher, a 29-year-old Irish national, as she walked home alone from a bar in Sydney Road, Brunswick.
Detectives found her body in a shallow grave beside a dirt road in Gisborne South, about 45km from Brunswick.
Ms Meagher’s death generated widespread international media coverage and prompted 30,000 people to march along Sydney Road – Paul Anderson