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Rapist Adrian Bayley has jail sentence cut

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Serial Victorian rapist Adrian Ernest Bayley has had three years cut off his jail term after a conviction for raping a sex worker in 2000 was overturned.

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The former pastry chef appealed two rape convictions and sentences that increased his non-parole period to 43 years.

Victorian Court of Appeal justices Marilyn Warren, Mark Weinberg and Phillip Priest on Wednesday reduced his sentence to 40 years and acquitted him of one rape conviction – but dismissed his appeal against the other conviction.

Bayley had appealed two rape convictions for attacks on women in St Kilda in 2000 and 2012.

At a hearing in March, Bayley’s barrister Saul Holt QC said there were weaknesses in evidence linked to identification in the trial over the 2000 rape of a sex worker in St Kilda.

The Court of Appeal found the identification evidence should have been excluded from Bayley’s trial because it had “virtually no probative value”.

“Without the identification evidence, there was no evidence upon which a jury could find Bayley guilty,” the justices said.

Bayley’s conviction over the 2000 rape was one of three rape trials that had increased the non-parole period on his life sentence from 35 years to 43 years.

The 44-year-old received the life sentence for the 2012 rape and murder of Jill Meagher.

Having quashed the 2000 rape conviction, the Court of Appeal fixed a new non-parole period of 40 years.

The justices also dismissed Bayley’s appeal against his conviction over the 2012 rape of a Dutch backpacker on the grounds telephone evidence was flawed.

The Court of Appeal rejected this argument and found the telephone records were clearly relevant.

In re-sentencing Bayley, the justices said his offending was “utterly abhorrent” and noted his long history of sexual assaults.

“The history left little room for optimism concerning his prospects for rehabilitation,” they wrote.

-AAP

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