The person charged by police in connection with the 32-year-old murder of a Sydney man has been named as Scott Phillip White, 49, from the suburb of at Lane Cove, on Sydney’s north shore.
White was arrested on the morning of Tuesday, 12 May by NSW detectives and his case was mentioned briefly at Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday, 13 May. No bail application was made and the accused did not appear. He will likely appear in court in July.
The arrest relates to the 1988 death of Scott Johnson, an American resident of Australia, who fell from a cliff in suspicious circumstances.
The death of Johnson, an openly gay man, has been the subject of three coronial inquests. The first concluded his death was the result of suicide, the second returned an open verdict and the third found that he was probably the victim of a gay-hate crime and fell from the cliff as a result of actual or threatened violence.
Accused met the deceased in a hotel, says ABC
According to a report by the ABC, police will allege that White, then aged 18, met Scott Johnson at a hotel in Manly before heading to what was a popular gay meeting place.
“At Bluefish Point, Scott Johnson is believed to have removed his clothes, at which time Mr White is alleged to have panicked and punched him causing Mr Johnson to lose his balance and fall to his death,” the ABC says.
Police later found Johnson’s clothes neatly folded on the rocks about 10 metres from the edge of the cliff.
The ABC further says that White was not known to police, who have been investigating the case for many years before an informant came forward with information that led to his arrest.
You can read the full ABC report here.
Brother denies any involvement in the death
Meanwhile the Daily Mail Australia says in an exclusive interview with the accused’s brother, Shane, that the pair would regularly drink on the beaches near where Johnson died. But Shane White has denied there was any involvement in Johnson’s death.
Shane did however tell the publication that he was interviewed by police last year as part of their investigation.
“I know he’s innocent (and) he knows he’s innocent. They came after me, but because I had an alibi they come on to my brother,” he said when referring to his brother’s arrest.