admitted to the 1988 murder of American Scott Johnson to over 12 years in jail for the crime.Scott Philip White, 51, who now identifies as gay, will serve a minimum of at least eight years and three months behind bars for the killing of Johnson, whose naked body was found at the bottom of the cliffs near Manly in northern Sydney in December 1988.
Johnson was 27 at the time of his murder. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, White had been facing life behind bars, but Justice Helen Wilson handed a reduced sentence in accordance with current sentencing guidelines and the applicable law in effect at the time of the murder.Despite the homophobic nature of the crime, White was not convicted of a hate crime.“Sentences for murder in the late 80s and early 90s were on average lower than at present,” Justice Helen Wilson said of the sentence in New South Wales Supreme Court.Wilson noted White’s hardscrabble upbringing as a closeted gay man raised in a homophobic home and eventually living on the streets for a period.
She also said she was sentencing the man before her, “a seriously impaired man in his 50s who has been law-abiding for 15 years,” rather than the “violent and aggressive young man” who caused Johnson to plunge off the cliff to his death.“Mr.
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