Nicholas Parkhill from ACON responds to arrest in Scott Johnson case

Nicholas Parkhill, the CEO of ACON, has responded to the news that an arrest has been made in relation to the death Scott Johnson after three decades.

While congratulating police on their work on the case, Parkhill highlights that many attacks on gay men occurred over the decades and many still remain unsolved.

“While ACON cannot comment on the details of this arrest, this has been a very long and extraordinarily difficult process for Scott’s family, friends, and many in the LGBTQ community. We are hopeful that we are now moving to a final resolution in understanding the truth behind what happened to Scott in Manly in 1988.

“For just over three decades, the death of Scott Johnson has created great pain, anguish and anxiety for Scott’s family. We are incredibly grateful for his brother Steve and the whole Johnson family, Dan Glick and others for their relentless and passionate fight for justice and honouring Scott’s life and contribution.” Parkhill said in a statement.

Johnson’s body was found at the base of cliff in Manly, Sydney in 1988. While his death was initially ruled a suicide additional coronial inquests delivered a verdict that his death was most likely due to a violent attack, or threat of attack, based on his sexuality.

NSW police were later forced to open investigations into over 70 cases of attacks against gay men in the area in the from the 1970’s through to the 1990’s.

“The deaths and disappearances of gay men and transgender women and the epidemic of violence in Sydney and NSW during the 1970s to 1990s has left a traumatic legacy. Bias-motivated violence and murder are crimes that hurt both physically and emotionally, and the impact is felt deeply, both individually and communally.” Parkhill said.

“While this is a significant development in this particular case, it highlights the need for ongoing investigation, truth telling and the delivery of justice for so many other gay men and trans people, who were murdered or bashed in similar cases in NSW.

“There were dozens more cases from this time and many remain unsolved leaving dozens of families and loved ones without answers or resolution.

“We commend the NSW Police Force for continuing to investigate this case after numerous coronial inquests, and thank the NSW Government for committing to a $1 million reward in 2018, for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of Mr Johnson’s killer or killers.” Parkhill said.

OIP Staff

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