Man confesses to committing hate crime against gay men three decades later
A man finally confessed to the murder of Cambridge University graduate Scott Johnson in 1988.
Scott Johnson’s body was found naked at the foot of the North Head Cliffs in Sydney, Australia. The area was a well-known gay cruising spot and at the time his death was considered suicide. However, her family never believed or accepted that this was true.
At a pre-trial hearing this week, Scott White surprised the court by pleading guilty to the hate crime murder of the 27-year-old. White, 50, was arrested and charged in 2020 and his lawyers attempted to have the confession withdrawn, arguing the man was not mentally fit.
But on Thursday, a Supreme Court judge dismissed the petition, writing that the plea was entered “in a loud and clear voice, and in an emphatic and determined manner.”
“It was inconceivable to me that Scott had gone anywhere and jumped off a cliff,” his brother Steve told Radio 1 Newsbeat in 2018, as he desperately campaigned for the truth about his brother’s death. .
In 2005, Steve says he became aware of inquiries into similar deaths of gay men at Bondi Beach in Sydney – when he says he “woke up” to what could have happened to his. younger brother, as reported by the BBC.
Local police, however, have shown little interest in picking up on Scott Johnson’s death. So Steve hired an investigator who reviewed court records and uncovered entries relating to gangs roaming Sydney’s northern beaches. These gangs were known to have committed assaults and hate crimes against gay men.
All these years later, Steve told ABC he was thankful that a lawsuit could be avoided.
“We are very relieved that the accused has found it in his soul to confess and plead guilty and put an end to this, so I am very happy,” he said outside the court. .
“I think about my brother and how a lot of people cared about him for bringing this result today.”
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