Scott White sentenced to 9 years for death of Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson, Scott White trial
The investigation into Scott Johnson's death is now the subject of a four hour docuseries

After a long and arduous legal process, the long-awaited trial of Scott White, the prime suspect in the murder of Scott Johnson, reached its conclusion yesterday, with White receiving up to 9 years in prison.

Just hours after the NSW Supreme Court found Stanley Bruce Early guilty for the murder of Raymon Keam in 1987, just one year before the 1988 death of Scott Johnson, the Court has sentenced yet another killer behind bars.

Scott’s brother Steve, told a sentencing submission hearing in the Supreme Court earlier this week that White’s legal wranglings had “cost his family another year of grief”, urging the hearing to have “no lenience” in their ruling.

And now, two days later, Scott Phillip White, aged 52, has received the sentencing from Justice Robert Beech-Jones at the NSW Supreme Court this afternoon.

Scott Johnson ‘had everything to live for’

“He had everything to live for,” the Justice Beech-Jones said, noting that Scott was posthumously awarded his PhD.

The Judge then went on to also acknowledge that some questions regarding the circumstances and motivations surrounding Scott Johnson’s death may remain unanswered.

According to the descriptions surrounding the manslaughter charge against White, the Court found that the action of punching Scott Johnson led to his stumbling and falling from the unfenced cliff top, constituting an unlawful and dangerous act.

The court also found that White disclosed in March 2020 that he had previously engaged in acts of violence targeting gay men, which he described as “poofter bashing”.

However, also according to White’s previous accounts, he was gay himself and struggling with his sexuality due to his own family’s homophobia.

The Court found that White and Scott Johnson had met at a Manly pub and subsequently visited North Head, a local gay beat, together.

According to White’s account, he claimed that he did not engage in any sexual activity with Johnson and was uncertain why Johnson had undressed.

However, he acknowledged that a “fight” had occurred between the two and admitted to initiating the first punch during a recorded phone conversation with a relative last year.

Justice Beech-Jones was not satisfied, however, that White had tried to stop Scott from falling, nor was he satisfied Johnson would have punched White.

The court also found that there was insufficient evidence to prove Scott Johnson’s sexuality was the motivation for his death.

White ‘left Scott Johnson to die’

Beech-Jones noted that regardless of the circumstances of how Scott Johnson fell, “The offender left Dr Johnson to die.”

He also noted that it was not for how long Johnson was suffering, but that it is certain the experience would have been terrifying.

The judge also did not accept it was beyond White to have made an anonymous call about the incident, pointing out that Johnson’s family had suffered decades of pain and grief as a result.

White will face nine years behind bars with a non-parole period of six years.

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Nate Woodall

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

1 Comment

  1. Dr. Wendell Rosevear
    12 June 2023

    Internalized homophobia is toxic and I have noted at least 6 other cases resulting in Murder perpetrated by the person who couldn’t accept their own sexuality. Accepting ourselves frees us to accept each other and is the foundation for the safety of Respect. Wendell “….make Love infectious”.

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