A man “motivated by hatred or prejudice” has been jailed for up to 22 years for bashing a stranger to death at a gay beat in Sydney’s east in the 1980s.
- Stanley Bruce Early was convicted of murder after a trial this year
- Raymond Keam was found brutally bashed in a Randwick park in 1987
- Early was part of a group that engaged in “poofter bashing”, the court heard
Stanley Bruce Early was sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, with Justice Dina Yehia saying his hatred of gay men was “an affront to any civilised society”.
In June, the 77-year-old was found guilty of the murder of Raymond Keam, 43, at Alison Park, Randwick, in January 1987.
The offender, who used the name Stanley “Spider” Sutton at the time, was part of a group that frequently went to the park to assault men who they suspected were gay.
Mr Keam’s body was found with multiple serious injuries to his face, mouth, and body after he was kicked and stomped on while lying on the ground.
Early has ‘shown no remorse’
The judge said no sentence could return the life of a loved one, as she acknowledged the decades of hurt and anger experienced by Mr Keam’s friends and family.
Justice Yehia said Early was the oldest member of a group who engaged in what they called “poofter bashing”.
“The offence was motivated by hatred or prejudice against homosexual males,” she said.
“The offender continues to deny his involvement in the murder. He has shown no remorse whatsoever.”
Justice Yehia said she was unable to find beyond reasonable doubt it was a blow by Stanley Early that killed Mr Keam, but she was satisfied he was part of the group that attacked him and intended to cause grievous bodily harm.
“Although the offence was not planned, there was a degree of deliberation involved.”
The judge said Mr Keam was vulnerable and on his own, and the offender approached him while he was in a compromised position.
The court heard Early told a psychiatrist he was bisexual at one stage in his life and had been sexually assaulted in jail.
It also heard he smashed the window of a Porsche near the park because he thought the owner was gay and he had approached a group of school students and asked if they wanted to help him “clean up the park”.
Early had prior convictions
Justice Yehia said she was bound to sentence Early according to sentencing options from the late 1980s and early 1990s, around the time the offence occurred.
In jailing him for 22 years with a non-parole period of 15 years and six months, she said Early had some prospects of rehabilitation and was unlikely to re-offend.
She noted he had prior convictions for other matters but had not committed any offence in the past 30 years.
“I accept the offender has some mental health issues that appear to be treated appropriately with medication,” Justice Yehia said.
The court heard Early was to be detained in the hospital of Long Bay prison for his mental health issue to continue to be addressed.
He will be eligible for parole in April 2037.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-20/nsw-stanley-early-jailed-for-22-years-over-raymond-keam-murder/103003268 Stanley Bruce Early sentenced to 22 years in jail for bashing murder of Raymond Keam