1976 murder of Sydney labourer likely a gay hate crime, inquiry told

Barry Jones Gay Hate Crime Inquiry
Images: Supplied/Unsplash

On  September 26, 1976, labourer Barry Jones was stabbed 53 times in a “frenzied attack” that is now being labelled a gay hate crime.

The 41-year-old man had been drinking at a local pub earlier in the evening before heading to a park believed to be a local gay beat.

Semen stains found on Mr Jones’ underwear and trousers suggested that he had engaged in sexual activity shortly before his death.

Mr Jones’ body was found the following morning with 53 stab wounds and a 10cm laceration to his throat.

Counsel Assisting William de Mars said that while evidence in relation to Mr Jones’ sexuality is “ambiguous,” it suggested he was not sexually attracted to women.

READ MORE: Hate Crime Inquiry examines Wendy Waine murder

Perpetrator likely motivated by a belief that Mr Jones was gay 

A witness who saw two men at the pub in the days or weeks before Mr Jones was murdered gave a statement to police saying: “They knew Barry because they kept saying, ‘that bastard he’s a queer, he’s a poof’.”

“It seems more likely than not that the perpetrator of the crime was motivated by a belief or understanding that Mr Jones was gay,” Mr de Mars told the court.

The “gratuitous infliction of wounds well in excess of those necessary to bring about death” was indicative of a frenzied attack and potentially consistent with a hate-based motivation, he added.

READ MORE: ‘Offensive’: Judge and NSW Police clash at LGBTIQ hate crime inquiry



Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. Sue Thompson
    30 June 2023

    Another tragic case with the obvious redflags & hallmarks of a highly likely gay hate related murder. Excellent to see their good work at the Commission.

    Important to know that they SCOI is also looking at possible lesbian hate related murders. I asked them to please do that and they have identified several. In the days of my job as the Police G/L Client Consultant in Police HQ (1990-2002) I was a “unit” of one person, seriously under-resourced (while other client group areas had several staff) & never had time to also look for lesbian hate related murders. They easily get lost as domestic violence related (eg murder by ex partners) or sexual violence related. So it is important to now do the right thing on them too.

    During my job, we identified 46 gay/trans hate related (over 12 yrs) and 1 or 2 possible lesbian hate related. It is a great relief to see the Commission being thorough.

    Historical justice is very important, especially after the recent years of the old identified cases being controversially re-classified as not gay hate related (using very narrow & incorrect, in my view, criteria and applying that new criteria retrospectively to decades old cases). Rare do we see wrongs righted and when we do it is good.

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