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Husband of murder and rape victim Jill Meagher writes heartwrenching tribute to wife

‘Slainte Jill. You were a warrior for love, life and liberation’

By Faye James

In an emotional heartwrenching tribute to his murdered wife Jill Meagher, Tom Meagher penned a post on social media, six years after her death and what would have been their 10th wedding anniversary.

Jill was brutally raped and murdered in 2012 in Melbourne by serial sex offender Adrian Bayley and her husband took to Facebook to honour her death.

'Ten years ago today, I was lucky enough to marry this incredible human…Four years later she was brutally and violently taken from this world,' he began the post alongside a picture of Jill in her wedding dress.

'Ten years ago today, I was lucky enough to marry this incredible human…' Thomas began the post alongside a picture of Jill in her wedding dress
'Ten years ago today, I was lucky enough to marry this incredible human…' Thomas began the post alongside a picture of Jill in her wedding dress
The happy couple Thomas and Jill Meagher before her tragic murder in 2012
The happy couple Thomas and Jill Meagher before her tragic murder in 2012

Only five weeks ago I stood in the Wicklow mountains where we were married, looking up at the canopy in the woods behind the grounds, as I have done many times in the six years since her death,' Thomas recalled.

The grieving husband then went onto explain how he felt towards his wife's perpetrator.

'The a*hole that took her from this world communicates with us through violence, misogyny, hatred and death. His pallid shadow can never extinguish her light,' he said.

Jill Meagher was laid to rest in Melbourne
Jill Meagher was laid to rest in Melbourne

The polar contrast between Jill and her killer are so clearly bookends of the extremity of good and evil that it sometimes feels like an ancient tragedy played out in real life. But it's the gaping spectrum in between those two opposing ways of living that chills me more than the red-faced, steroid-riddled, dead-eyed individual misogynistic rage of the man who killed her.'

Thomas then went on to talk about the 'war on women'.

'This man exemplifies the extremist wing of the hateful and pervasive ideology of male sexual terrorism, but it's the everyday spectrum of male violence that disturbs me even more. In a culture where the deaths of most women are not newsworthy, are so commonplace that they are seen as incidental, expected and simply inevitable, he certainly does represent the extremist wing.'

Thomas Meagher stepping out from the funeral
Thomas Meagher stepping out from the funeral

Thomas signed off the post with gratitude for what she has taught him.

'Slainte Jill. You were a warrior for love, life and liberation. Thank you for consistently and persistently teaching me how to live, how to think, how to embrace love wholly, and to bear witness to the fire you lit in me and so many others in your short time on this earth. You are loved at every moment of every day.'

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