Guilty verdict in murder trial of the 1987 death of Raymond Keam

A Sydney court has found 77-year-old Stanley Bruce Early guilty of the 1987 murder of Raymond Keam (pictured).

A jury found that Early had fatally bashed Keam in Randwick’s Alison Park at night in 1987 suspecting that he was a homosexual.

The park was a well-known gay beat, but there is no evidence that the victim was gay or bisexual. Keam had been married to a woman previously and was in a de facto relationship with another at the time of his death. He had a child with each of his partners.

A post-mortem and inquest in 1988 found that the 43-year-old died of severe head injuries after being struck by a person or person unknown. His body was found in the grass at the northern end of the park by a member of the public at 6.15am on 13th January 1987.

Early was found guilty on Wednesday despite the case being built on circumstantial evidence. There were no witnesses to the attack.

The court did hear from witnesses who described a man known as ‘Spider’ who used to beat up men he believed to be homosexuals in the park. It was claimed that ‘Spider’ was Early, who lived nearby. At the time of the offence was known as Stanley Sutton.

Prosecutors also relied on testimony from his brother who recalled Early had visited him at his home in Bundaberg, Queensland the day after the attack occurred. Barry Sutton told the court that his brother had told him “he had been in a bit of a blue, so he’d just come up”, and that it was “in the park across the road”.

The court also heard from another prisoner who Early allegedly shared details of the murder to while he was in custody.

Early will face a sentence hearing before Justice Dina Yehia on September 29.

The case was one of 88 deaths that occurred in New South Wales between 1976 and 1988 that were reviewed by Strike Force Parrabell. Police had offered a million-dollar reward for information relating to the case.

OIP Staff

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