HI-TECH TRAIL LED TO ARREST – Thursday March 14 2013

– The careless act of carrying a dead woman’s phone proved crucial to police in making an arrest in the Jill Meagher murder case.
It was midday, September 22nd, when Tom Meagher reported to police that his wife, Jill, had disappeared after going out for drinks with colleagues the night before.
He had sent her several worried text messages and scoured Brunswick streets without success.
Local uniformed officers made general inquiries, quizzing Mr Meagher, local bar owners and hospitals.
But after a preliminary search the picture began to look grim. A search of the Hope Street laneway, near where Ms Meagher regularly walked, found a dropped ABC pencil. Soon after, a local man found Ms Meagher’s handbag, containing items including her ABC ID card.
Homicide detectives from Crew 4 then took charge.
Police inquiries would later determine that on Sunday, September 23rd, accused man Adrian Ernest Bayley cleaned the inside and outside of his Holden Astra.
It was in the boot of that car that Bayley had put Ms Meagher’s body and driven her to Gisborne South. There he buried her in a roadside grave, about 3 1/2 hours after he raped her, and allegedly murdered her, in the lane.
Homicide investigators would learn that about 8:15am on the Monday, Bayley took the Astra to Brakes Plus in Fawkner.
Bayley also had the car’s four tyres changed.
Investigators would establish that at about 1pm, Bayley asked for a roadworthy certificate so he could transfer ownership of the Astra into his de facto’s name.
Alex Volpe, who did the roadworthy, noticed Bayley had a bruised gash on the bridge of his nose.
“He said that he was in a bit of a brawl on the weekend,” Mr Volpe said in his statement. “I just joked and said, ‘You need to learn how to duck sometimes’. Adrian just laughed it off.
Detectives canvassed the Brunswick area, speaking to business owners and licensees. They seized all available CCTV footage showing Ms Meagher’s movements early on September 22nd.
They also identified her Vodafone mobile phone details, and tracked the phone’s movement on that morning.
According to the police summary: “The recorded movement indicated that (Ms Meagher’s) mobile phone had remained in the Brunswick area until 4:42am , when it began movement outside the Brunswick area.
“After analysing the recorded movements it was discovered that (Ms Meagher’s) mobile was moving north along CityLink in the vicinity of Moreland Road at 4:40am and then continued north along the Calder Freeway to Sunbury.”
The detectives’ next move was to try to identify the vehicle, which at that stage they considered could have been driven either by Ms Meagher or a person of interest. CityLink records provided a list of vehicles that passed under the Moreland Road gantry.
Each was checked against further databases leading police to Bayley.
Investigators gained details of his mobile hood, and found its movements from Brunswick and along CityLink and the Calder Freeway mirrored those of Ms Meagher’s phone.
Detectives were now confident they had identified their prime suspect.
They arrested Bayley on Thursday, September 27th – the same day Bayley’s de facto partner, after washing Bayley’s clothes, found a broken Vodafone SIM card in the bottom of her washing machine.
“Inquiries with Vodafone in relation to the broken SIM card revealed that it was registered to the deceased (Ms Meagher) at the headquarters of the ABC,” the police summary said.
Bayley’s de facto told detectives: “I was shocked when I saw the SIM card, and wondered where it had come from.”
Detectives who executed a search warrant at the Coburg home seized the broken SIM card and pieces of a broken mobile phone.
When asked what he did with Ms Meagher’s phone, Bayley told detectives: “I smashed that at home, in the driveway.”
Police also took the clothes Bayley wore on the night of Ms Meagher’s death, his Astra and the shovel he used to dig the makeshift grave.
Detective Senior Constable Jennifer Booth showed Bayley’s partner some images.
“I produced still photographs taken from the CCTV footage outside the Duchess Boutique (on Sydney Road) depicting Adrain Bayley wearing a light powder-blue hoodie, a pair of light-coloured jeans and a pair of white trainers,” Senior Detective Booth said in her statement.
Senior Detective Booth also played the woman CCTV footage.
“‘Oh, my God, that’s him…My boyfriend, Adrian Bayley’,” the woman exclaimed.
During his interview with police, Bayley made some admissions. He took detectives to where Ms Meagher lay buried and gave investigators a DNA sample.
Bayley, 41, has pleaded not guilty to murder and two charges of rape. He has, however, pleaded guilty to a single count of rape – Paul Anderson


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

This entry was posted in Abduction and Kidnapping, Homicide, Rape and Sexual Assault, Strangulation, Violent Crime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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