Wednesday August 21 2013
– Serial rapist Adrian Bayley was not listed on the Sex Offenders Registry despite convictions for attacks of eight women and children – a failure police say could have prevented Jill Meagher’s murder.
An investigation by the Herald Sun can reveal police sources have also raised concerns Bayley’s DNA was not stored on the Victorian or national DNA crime database despite a sample being taken in 2001.
Bayley, was arrested in 2001 over a year-long series of brutal rapes of sex workers.
In an astonishing gap in our legal system, Bayley, in 2002, was sentenced under S.6D of the Sentencing Act – meaning he is regarded as a serious sexual offender – but Victoria’s justice system failed to keep tabs on him.
It comes as the parole killer crisis escalates yesterday with the release of the Callinan report, that recommends a 23-point overhaul of the parole system.
Meanwhile, Department of Justice lawyers continued their fight to keep secret details of how the parole system failed Victorians leading up to Ms Meagher’s death.
A senior police officer who helped bring Bayley to justice was also unaware he was back on the streets and had not seen the released face-fit image of the wanted attacker following the July rape.
“I feel sick in the stomach,” the officer said.
“When I heard his name on the radio I was shattered.
“Had they (the Adult Parole Board) notified me I would have notified all the victims and it would have been fresh in my mind and theirs.
“I feel terrible. I didn’t know he was out. Had I known I would have definitely notified the detectives at St Kilda.”
Victoria police yesterday would not comment on questions raised because of pending court matters involving Bayley.
Bayley’s prior convictions include sex assaults spanning decades including offences against three girls aged under 18 in 1990 and the rape of five sex workers in 2000-01.
Victoria Police could have made a retrospective application to place Bayley, a father of four, on the Victorian Sex Offenders Register when it was made law in 2004 while he served a minimum eight year prison sentence.
Under the Act it is discretionary for sex offenders whose victims are adults to be listed on the register.
It is mandatory to register convicted paedophiles.
Bayley was not considered a suspect by police following complaints by two women in mid-2012 of being sexually assaulted in the St Kilda area despite police issuing a face-fit image with characteristics similar to Bayley.
A Dutch backpacker, who was raped on July 15th last year, told the media of being driven into a laneway and attacked.
Ms Meagher was raped and killed in a Brunswick laneway two months later on September 22nd.
Police sources have told the Herald Sun multiple failings in the system allowed Bayley to remain on the streets and needed to be fixed, including the registering of all serious sex offenders.
The 41-year-old has been charged with further counts of rape from 2012 and another from 2000, which he is contesting.
The Office of Public Prosecutions has considered Bayley’s previous offending in relation to the new charges.
But in further mishandling of Bayley’s case, the Adult Parole Board failed to inform his victims from 2000-2001 he was being released at his earliest parole date in 2009.
A nation-wide investigation into unsolved sex crimes has used Bayley’s DNA to cross-match with samples taken and stored.
Following a major internal review, police have even investigated an information report linking Bayley with the Claremont killings, having lived in Perth, but he was eliminated as a suspect.
In 2000-2001, detectives attempted to get statements from 16 alleged victims who were sex workers in St Kilda.
At least five sex workers who identified Bayley as their attacker refused to go to court to testify against him the following year (2002) because they did not trust police.
Several detectives on rostered shifts had investigated separate complaints from sex workers but it took months to link the attacks and identify Bayley as a predator – Anthony Dowsley