Committee recommends judicial inquiry into historic hate crimes of homosexuals and trans in Sydney


A judicial inquiry to investigate Sydney’s historic hate crimes against the gay and transgender community is expected to be set up by the NSW government, a bipartisan parliamentary committee recommended on Tuesday.

About 88 suspected deaths of male hate crime victims occurred between 1970 and 2010 in New South Wales, 23 of which remain unsolved.

“For too long, these deaths have gone unresolved and unanswered, leaving a hole in the lives of the families of the victims and their loved ones. The committee believes that the time has come to act before the window of opportunity for obtaining evidence relating to these decades-old crimes has expired, ”the panel said.

The panel chaired by openly gay liberal MLC Shayne Mallard was set up in 2018 by the Standing Committee on Social Issues of the New South Wales Legislative Council.

“Gay people disappear all the time …”

The committee took note of the case of Simon, a homosexual from Newton, who disappeared in July 2005. When his parents approached the NSW police, they were told that “homosexuals disappear all the time. ..

Unsolved cases include those of Frenchman Gilles Mattaini, news anchor Ross Warren and bartender John Rusell.

Mattaini, 27, was last seen walking along the coastal path in Tamarama in September 1985, but was not reported missing until 2002.

Warren, 24, went missing after a night out with friends in July 1989. His body was never found although two days later his keys were found on the rocks under the cliffs of Marks Park in Tamarama.

Russell, 31, went missing in November 1989 and his body was found at the foot of the cliff at Marks Park in Tamarama.

During the panel’s tenure, NSW Police arrested a man for the murder of Scott Johnson, whose body was found on December 10, 1988 at the foot of a cliff at Blue Fish Point, near Manly’s North Head.

The committee said its investigation had “collectively painted a deeply painful and distressing picture of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) hate crime experience between 1970 and 2010.”

The police failed in their duty

The committee found that New South Wales police failed in their duty to properly investigate hate crimes against gay and transgender communities.

The historic attitude of the police to hate crimes against the community has led to the community’s lack of confidence in reporting crimes committed against them. This continues to this day as the panel learned that NSW Police received 16 misconduct complaints related to LGBTQI + issues in 2019 and that number had increased to 20 in 2020.

The committee made the following recommendations:

  • The NSW government is expected to open a judicial inquiry or expert review into the murders and unsolved crimes.

  • Update the implementation of the recommendations made in the NSW Police Strike Force Parrabell report.

  • Ensure adequate victim support services for those affected by LGBTIQ hate crimes.

  • Support the completion of the Bondi Memorial at Marks Park, Bondi.

  • Ensure LGBTIQ hate crimes are properly captured and recorded by police.

Calls on NSW Police and Government to apologize

ACON said it supported the recommendation for a judicial inquiry.

“The decades-long attacks on sexually and gender-diverse people in New South Wales have left a painful legacy for the loved ones of the victims, survivors, their families and the entire community, which has been made worse by the slow and inadequate responses to many of these crimes, ”said Nicolas Parkhill, CEO of ACON.

Although his request for a judicial inquiry was granted, ACON said his other submissions to the committee had not been processed. ACON had called for the establishment of an Equity Office, support for a government-funded general education campaign and a public apology from the NSW government and NSW Police. -South Wales. “ACON will continue to advocate for these omissions through other policy parameters and opportunities,” the organization said.

If you feel anxious while reading the story, you can contact support services.

For 24 hour crisis assistance and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support, call QLife at 1800184527 or live chat.

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