Violent killer’s mother slams Victorian sexual assault "gag order"

Violent killer’s mother slams Victorian sexual assault "gag order"

The mother of Jill Meagher's killer has slammed a "ludicrous" "gag order" proposed by the Victorian government that would prevent the families of deceased sexual assault victims from speaking openly and publicly about their loved one's ordeal in Victoria.

Adrian Ernest Bayley's mother Susan fought hard to bite back her tears while she argued against proposed changes to legislation that was being debated in parliament.

The “gag order” would make families of victims seek for an approved court order to speak about their loved one.

"Why on god's earth would they (the government) prevent these poor innocent girls' names from being used? Why?" Ms Bayley told Neil Mitchell on 3AW.

Adrian Bayley was sentenced to life with a 35-year minimum in 2013 for the murder and rape of Jill Meagher. 

The 29-year-old Meagher was attacked as she walked home from a pub in Melbourne in 2012.

Ms Bayley said the changes were "wrong on so many levels" and pleaded for the voices of victims and their families not to be silenced.

"We need to listen to the victim's voices. Just because they're not with us anymore doesn't mean they're less important and their voices shouldn't be heard," Ms Bayley said.

"The families of the victims, their voices need to be heard."

Courtney Herron was brutally beaten to death at a Melbourne park in 2019 and her father has told 9News that nothing will make him relent from sharing his daughter’s name and story.

"I don't want the memory of my daughter Courtney to fade away," John Herron said.

"In the future going through this, I would speak out regardless, I wouldn't have any fear of doing so.

"The reason for that is, if you've lost your child, you really don't have anything further to lose in life. So I'd speak out and take any particular punishment without hesitation," he said.

The 25-year-old woman was found dead by dog walkers in Royal Park at Parkville on May 25, with injuries described by police as "horrendous".

Mr Herron said it was important for the stories of victims to be told.

"The ability to speak out publicly and the support that the public has shown, and the support that the media has shown, has been absolutely critical in getting Courtney's story out there."

Attorney General Jill Hennessy said the legislation would establish a process for families with opposing or different views about the details of victims being published.

"We know it's not perfect and we know it's got to be improved but we've got to take the important first step so there is some process for families of deceased victims," Ms Hennessy said on 3AW.

The Attorney General told Neil Mitchell that victim survivors had been involved in the changes.

The controversial “gag laws” have received an intense response on social media.