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A man will spend at least eight years behind bars for the historic murder of US national Scott Johnson, who was found dead in Sydney in the late 1980s.

Mr Johnson was found dead at the bottom of a cliff at Blue Fish Point, near Manly’s North Head, on December 10, 1998.

The then-27-year-old’s death was initially ruled a suicide, even though the area was a well known gay beat, targeted by gangs.

Scott Johnson, a US national who was based in Sydney, was discovered at the bottom of Blue Fish Point near Manly's North Head in December 1988.
Scott Johnson, a US national who was based in Sydney, was discovered at the bottom of Blue Fish Point near Manly’s North Head in December 1988. (NSW Police)

In sentencing today, the court heard that White was “no longer the angry young man who raised his fists to a man on a cliff”.

The judge found the crime was either driven by hate or self loathing.

White was sentenced to a maximum of 12 years and seven months, with a non-parole period of eight years and three months.

He will be eligible for parole in 2030.

Scott White has been jailed for at least eight years for the murder of gay mathematician Scott Johnson.
Scott White has been jailed for at least eight years for the murder of gay mathematician Scott Johnson. (9News)

Yesterday, the killer’s ex-wife said he had bragged about bashing gay men during the period Mr Johnson died, and that they had discussed the tragedy the year it happened, and again two decades later.

“I remember asking him if this is one of the gay men he bashed,” she said.

This week the court also heard statements from Mr Johnson’s siblings and his partner at the time of his murder about the impact the tragedy had on their lives.

The last known photo of Scott Johnson.
The last known photo of Scott Johnson. (NSW Police)

“I’ll never forget the wailing cry of our mum when I called her to tell her that her youngest child had died. I believe her agony over losing Scott never left her for the rest of her life,” his older brother Stephen Johnson said.

Michael Noone had been in a relationship with Scott in the years before he died and faced the unthinkable task of identifying his partner’s body. 

More than 30 years after Scott Johnson was found dead at the bottom of a cliff on Sydney Northern Beaches, a man has admitted to his murder.
Mr Johnson’s older brother Stephen has been pushing for justice for more than 30 years. (9News)

“Unless you’ve experienced it, there is no way anyone could understand the sheer horror of receiving a voicemail from police asking you to identify the body of a loved one,” he told the court.

“No one can imagine what it was like to be shown his lifeless and hideously disfigured body,” he said, adding “I’m so glad I was there to say goodbye”.

More to come…

Source: 9News

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