The Australian man convicted of the 1988 murder of gay U.S. national Scott Johnson now wants a new trial, claiming he only declared in court he was “guilty, guilty, guilty” because he feared his ex-wife.Scott Phillip White, 52, stunned observers in court earlier this year when he took responsibility for killing the brilliant math postgraduate student whose naked body was found at the bottom of the cliffs near Manly in northern Sydney.“Guilty, guilty, guilty,” White declared at a pre-trial hearing in January.His lawyer now claims that White later told his lawyers, “I didn’t do it but I’m saying I’m doing it” and that “It’s the only way, she’s [his wife] going to come after me,” according to the Australian Associated Press.
He also blamed the stress that came with seeing the victim’s brother Steve in court that day.“I’d regard this situation as uniquely unusual,” White’s new lawyer, barrister Tim Game SC told the appeals court yesterday. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”Game, who only recently came to represent White, said his client had “no advice at the point at which he pleaded guilty.”Sally Dowling SC, the NSW director of public prosecutions, disputed White’s new claims, noting the convicted murderer had “the presence of mind to note” at the time that his declaration of guilt was “not a [split-second] decision.”White’s ex-wife, Helen White, testified at the sentencing hearing in May that he “quite often bragged about bashing poofters.” She said she twice confronted him about the murder, first in 1988 and then again in 2008 after an article mentioned the crime.“I remember asking him if this was one of the gay men that he’d bashed, and he said, ‘Oh, that girly-looking poofter,’” Helen White said.She added that when she.
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