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The Police Admit Their Biggest Mistake Over Jill Meagher

The lead investigator into the murder of Jill Meagher has revealed his regret over the treatment of her husband Tom Meagher.

When Ms Meagher, 29, disappeared in September 2012 while walking home from drinks in Brunswick, it was Tom who was suspect number one for the police.

Six days after being discovered dead, serial criminal Adrian Baylee confessed to her rape and murder.

In an ABC documentary, homicide detective David Butler talks about their treatment of Tom Meagher and says ‘’When you think about it down the track, you're left thinking: "Jeez, we were pretty awful, for the way we've treated this poor guy.’’

'Not only has he lost his wife, but now he's been treated pretty badly by us in some respects,' he added. 

During the search for his wife, Mr Meagher fronted the media on several occasions and at one point thank investigators for their hard work despite the way that had treated him.

The ABC documentary will look at how the parole system ‘failed’ Ms Meagher and how it meant Baylee was on the streets when she was killed.

'I know that [Bayley] was sentenced to five years for an indecent assault, of which he did 20 or 22 months, and then fronted back in court charged with raping six women in St Kilda,' Victims of Crime Commissioner Greg Davies said during Conviction, which will air on Tuesday night. 

'Each of those rapes carry a maximum 25-year sentence. He was given a minimum period of eight years, which works out I think about 14 months per rape.

'Had he been given even a cumulative 25 years - the maximum for one, not for the six, but one - then a further 13 (or) 15 women would not have been raped and Jill Meagher would still be alive because Adrian Earnest Bayley would still be in jail,' Davies said. 

Conviction airs at 8.30pm on Tuesday 27th September on ABC.

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