Brother of man murdered in 1988 Sydney gay hate crime relieved after killer’s guilty plea

At the first coroner’s inquest, her death was ruled a suicide, although her clothes were discovered neatly laid out atop the cliff above.

However, the third inquest in 2017 found Mr Johnson had fallen off a cliff due to violence from an unidentified assailant who perceived him to be gay.

At a preliminary hearing in Sydney on Monday, White, who had previously pleaded not guilty to murder, pleaded guilty.

On Thursday, a New South Wales Supreme Court judge accepted the guilty plea.

Scott Johnson was found dead on the rocks under North Head in Manly in 1988.

Source: AAP


Mr Johnson’s brother Steve Johnson, who traveled to Australia to attend the preliminary hearing this week, said on Friday the guilty plea had triggered “a mix of emotions”, including the chief of rescue.

“It’s not what any of us expected this week,” he told the ABC.

“We all sat down on Monday and the judge read how the accused had pleaded and he surprised everyone in the courtroom by saying ‘guilty’. It turned everything upside down. We did not expect that.

“The police were sure they had the right person, but you’re never sure until you hear those words from the prisoner himself – and so suddenly I knew who killed my brother.”

A 2018 police review of 88 suspicious deaths in New South Wales between 1976 and 2000 found that 27 men were likely murdered because of their homosexuality, with cases peaking in the late 1980s and early 1980s. 1990s.

White, 49, is in custody and will be sentenced on May 2.

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“In fact, I appreciate that Scott White has grounded his role in saving us more months of this grueling journey, and a trial scheduled for May is no longer necessary,” Steve Johnson said.

“I’m hopeful for the other dozens of gay people who lost their lives around the same time as Scott.”

Steve Johnson said he never felt like he had “no choice” but to continue “seeking justice for Scott” for the past 33 years.

“I was sure from the start that it couldn’t be suicide,” he said.

Steve Johnson said he was “very impressed with how the justice system works”.

“I certainly had plenty of time to watch Scott White and imagine what might have happened on the cliffs. The court allowed the police to show me the evidence today and that’s something I will do today.” today before leaving Sydney, so I will learn a lot more about the last hours of my brother’s life.

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