Australian sentenced to 12 years in prison for 1988 cliff-top murder of gay American Scott Johnson.

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05/03/2022

An Australian court sentenced a man to 12 years behind bars Tuesday over the murder of a gay American in Sydney three decades ago, in a case that highlighted a series of homophobic attacks from that era. Scott Phillip White, 51, had pleaded guilty to murdering U.S. mathematician Scott Johnson, whose body was found at the base of a cliff in the city’s north in December 1988. Johnson’s death was initially ruled a suicide, but a 2017 inquest found it was likely the 27-year-old had been pushed over the cliff or fell while trying to escape assailants. Speaking after the ruling, Johnson’s brother Steve, who had long campaigned for justice and travelled to Australia for the trial, welcomed the sentence. “I think what we got this week was fairness,” he told media outside the Sydney court.

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