Jill Meagher: Man pleads guilty to Irish woman's murder

Jill Meagher
Image caption Jill Meagher was originally from Drogheda

A man charged with the murder of an Irish woman in Australia has changed his plea to guilty.

Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, has admitted murdering 29-year-old Jill Meagher on 22 September last year at Brunswick in Melbourne.

He had admitted rape at an earlier hearing but had been due to stand trial in September on the murder charge.

He was remanded in custody until 11 June.

Ms Meagher's family was not at the Supreme Court in the state of Victoria for Bayley's appearance on Friday.

Ms Meagher, who was originally from Drogheda, County Louth, moved to Australia from Ireland in 2009 with her husband, Thomas.

She worked for ABC radio but went missing during a night out with colleagues.

Her body was discovered six days later buried on the outskirts of the city.

The BBC's correspondent in Sydney, Phil Mercer, said there had been a huge turnout for Ms Meagher's memorial rally and he had never seen "public revulsion on that scale".

"A few weeks after Jill Meagher was murdered a crowd of about 30,000 people marched through the inner city district of Brunswick, in Melbourne, to remember Jill Meagher and also to highlight the broader concerns about violence against women," he said.

"Certainly, this case did touch a very raw nerve in the city of Melbourne.

"Today, at least for Jill Meagher's family and the people who knew her at the national broadcaster, ABC, perhaps this will be a bit of closure for them."

He said the Meagher family had been "spared the anguish" of a high profile trial because of the change of plea by Bayley.

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