According to a newly released court summary, on the night of September 21 last year, while Jill Meagher was out with friends in Brunswick, the accused Adrian Bayley was arguing with his girlfriend at Swanston St’s Lounge Bar about “jealousy and possessiveness”.
His girlfriend walked out and returned to the couple’s home in Coburg.
Bayley told police “I was just walking ahead of her and we’d already interacted on Sydney Rd and that’s when she rang her brother. She was actually telling me about her father.”
Jill Meagher’s husband, Tom sent Jill a text message from their home saying “Are you okay?” at 1:27am.
It was 1.38am when Bayley approached Jill Meagher and, as the statement conditions, “proceeded to drag her into a laneway on Hope St between Oven St and Sydney Rd, where he raped and strangled her”.
Bayley told detectives: “I actually apologised. I can’t imagine how she felt but I know how I felt. All I thought was, ‘What have I done?’ “
Bayley then left the body of the deceased in the laneway where he had raped her and returned to his home address. He then collected a shovel and his white Holden Astra.
At 1.47am, an anxious Tom Meagher sent his wife another text: “Answer me, I’m really worried,” and another at 2.07am: “Please pick up.”
The court heard Bayley returned to the laneway at 4.22am and put Ms Meagher’s body into the boot of the car.
He drove to Blackhill Rd, Gisborne South, where he buried Ms Meagher by the side of the road.
Bayley was driving home from Gisborne when his car ran out of petrol near the Calder Highway.
He managed to wave down driver Dayle Watkins, who drove him to a nearby service station. Bayley (at about 6am) filled a jerry can with petrol and Mr Watkins then drove him back to his vehicle.
POLICE INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:
BAYLEY: You know what? I hope I never get out, because you know why I hope that, because then no one else ever has to be hurt because someone hurts me. I don’t deal with – with hurt very well. You know it wasn’t really my intention to hurt her, you know that? When we conversed, I swear to you man – I swear to you I’d – I’d just – I spoke to her and she looked – she looked distraught. Does that make sense?
DETECTIVE: Yeah it does.
BAYLEY: She didn’t look happy.
DETECTIVE: Yeah it does.
BAYLEY: And I spoke to – I spoke to her, you know and said, look, I’ll just – I’ll – I’ll help you, you know. That’s what I said to her and she was like fu– — anyway it doesn’t matter. She flipped me off and that made me angry, because I was trying to do a nice thing. You know that?
DETECTIVE: Yeah yeah.
BAYLEY: She looked distraught.
BAYLEY: She looked distraught, you know. She looked like she was lost … always try to do the right thing some – you know, most of the time and I didn’t take well to her response, you know. I just don’t wanna go through it in detail. That – I can’t.
DETECTIVE: What happened to Jill?
BAYLEY: They should have the death penalty for people like me.
DETECTIVE: I can’t tell you what’s gonna happen.
BAYLEY: No well – that’s what I hope.
DETECTIVE: So you said she fobbed you off and you got angry. Tell me what happened then?
BAYLEY: Oh I just got pissed off and I actually walked off and she followed. I actually walked in front of her and she followed.
BAYLEY: And it just got worse.
DETECTIVE: Tell me what happened.
BAYLEY: (Starts to cry) … like a big sissy man.
BAYLEY: I wanna do the right thing. It’s not fair on any of this to – it’s not fair of any of this stuff to have happened, let alone her family and stuff too.
BAYLEY: Not knowing.
DETECTIVE: Would you be willing to come with me and show me?
BAYLEY: I’ll try. I’ll do my best man.
DETECTIVE: I appreciate that.
BAYLEY: I’m not sure how to get there.
BAYLEY: I know what I’m saying to you. It’s not fair for this to have happened, and it’s not fair on her family and it’s not fair on them not knowing. It’s not fair.
DETECTIVE: Um. I understand why you don’t want to go into the detail. I understand that totally. Um how – how did she die?
BAYLEY: (Starts to cry). I strangled her.
BAYLEY: (Continues to cry). What have I done? What have I done man?
DETECTIVE: And where did that happen?
BAYLEY: On Hope Street.
DETECTIVE: How did she come to get in the laneway?
BAYLEY: we – we walked past it.
BAYLEY: That far down Hope St. I didn’t take her from the street, or – you know?
DETECTIVE: Yeah and then?
BAYLEY: And we were just talking you know? We weren’t – there was no argument, there was no – it was just talking. And then um …
BAYLEY: I was just walking ahead of her and we’d already interacted on Sydney Rd, and that’s when she rang her brother. She was actually telling me about her father.
BAYLEY: You know? And I was just – I was trying to be nice and – she kept going from being nice to nasty, to nice, to – you know what I mean?
BAYLEY: And it just sort of ended up in the alley. I can’t remember yeah, you know what I mean, 100 per cent, like how it ended up. We were just sort of – we were standing there.
DETECTIVE: Um how did you – how did you strangle her?
BAYLEY: With my hands.
DETECTIVE: With your hands. And once that had happened, what did you do?
(interview interrupted by knock at door, then resumes)
BAYLEY: I didn’t run.
DETECTIVE: You didn’t run?
BAYLEY: (starts to cry) that’s not it man. I actually apologised.
DETECTIVE: To her?
BAYLEY: But I didn’t run. I didn’t – didn’t know what to do. It’s a horrible feeling man.
BAYLEY: I can’t imagine how – how she felt, but I know how I felt. It’s not nice man, its not nice. And all I thought was what have I done? That’s all I thought. That was the thought in my head, what have I done after I said sorry. I didn’t know what else to say, man. I don’t know what else to say.
DETECTIVE: And what happened to her belongings?
BAYLEY: The phone I smashed. Just the other stuff I threw.
DETECTIVE: You walk to the side, you get the shovel. Tell me what you do.
BAYLEY: I cried man, and I dug a hole.
BAYLEY: I cried man, and I didn’t cry for me, you need to understand that. I didn’t cry for me, just like I’m not crying for me now.