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Adrian Bayley wins appeal against rape conviction

ABC News ABC News 13/07/2016 Emma Younger

Adrian Bayley is led into a prison van at the Supreme Court in Melbourne in this 2013 photo. © AAP Image/Julian Smith Adrian Bayley is led into a prison van at the Supreme Court in Melbourne in this 2013 photo. Notorious murderer and rapist Adrian Bayley has won an appeal against a rape conviction, with his 43-year minimum jail term reduced to 40 years.

The 44-year-old was serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of Melbourne woman Jill Meagher in 2012 when he was convicted of three subsequent rapes.

The Victorian Court of Appeal has upheld his appeal against one of those convictions, the rape of a prostitute in St Kilda in 2000.

The victim made a statement to police after she identified Bayley as her attacker when she was looking at a missing persons page on Facebook for Jill Meagher in 2012.

The Court of Appeal ruled that her identification evidence should not have been allowed at the jury trial and even if it had, there was no other evidence to allow a properly instructed jury to convict Bayley.

Bayley will now be eligible for parole in 2055 at the age of 83.

His appeals against a second rape conviction and the sentence for a third were dismissed.

'Little optimism' for Bayley's chance of rehabilitation, court says

In handing down the ruling, the Court of Appeal judges acknowledged Bayley's offending had been utterly abhorrent and "left little optimism concerning his prospects for rehabilitation".

Barrister Saul Holt QC represented Bayley in the appeals pro-bono, after Victorian Legal Aid rejected two applications for a taxpayer-funded lawyer.

He won an appeal last year to re-apply to be represented by Victorian Legal Aid in the court challenge after it refused an initial request to provide him with a lawyer.

But it then denied his second application for representation.

The court noted in its ruling that it was "regrettable" Bayley had been declined legal aid.

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