Man behind Scott Johnson murder ‘brags about gay bashing’, ex-wife tells court

WARNING: The following story contains language that may offend some readers.

The ex-wife of a man convicted of one of Sydney’s most infamous gay hate murders says he often bragged about cursing gay men.

Scott Philip White, 51, is being sentenced before the Supreme Court for the 1988 murder of American mathematician Scott Johnson in North Head, Sydney.

Johnson’s body was found under a rock near Blue Fish Point. He was 27 years old.

Police initially treated her death as a suicide, but after three coronation investigations and several public appeals, officials charged White with murder in 2020.

In January, White pleaded guilty during a pre-trial hearing, to the surprise of his lawyers.

White and his legal team have attempted to retract it, focusing on potential “cognitive impairment.”

Scott White in handcuffs
Scott White has hit back at his earlier plea of ​​not guilty.,Supply: Nine News,

White’s ex-wife Helen told the court Monday that he asked her twice whether she was responsible for Johnson’s death – first in 1988 and again around September 2008.

She said she saw an article about Johnson in a newspaper around 2008 and asked White “Did you do that?” To which he replied “The only good fool is a dead fool”.

She says that White told her “It’s not my fault that the dumb c**t ran off the cliff” and that she said “that is if you followed her”.

Ms White revealed that her ex-husband often bragged about cursing gay men in his youth, even telling his six children about his past.

In 1988 Ms. White saw a photograph of Johnson in a newspaper and asked her then-husband if he was responsible for the crime.

“He replied, ‘Oh, that charming looking idiot?’ … then we had a little argument,” she told the court.

a man looking sideways
Three coronation investigations into Johnson’s death drew different conclusions.,Supply: NSW Police,

Ms White eventually told police of her ex-husband’s involvement in Johnson’s death, writing an anonymous letter to a detective mentioned in a news story.

Several members of Johnson’s family read statements of victim impact in court today, all recalling the mathematician’s gentle and shy demeanor.

White, wearing prison greens, heard from the court dock and nodded occasionally.

Johnson’s then-partner Michael Noon recalled the “sheer fear” of calling the police to request the identification of the body of his “best friend.”

“No one can imagine what it would be like to be shown his lifeless and badly damaged body,” he said.

“It’s an indelible image that’s burned in the brain… It’s an excruciatingly bizarre spectator that I’ll take to my grave.”



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