Australian gay hate killer sentenced to 22 years behind bars

Australia Police

An Australian man who was found guilty of beating someone to death in a gay-hate-fuelled attack has been sentenced to 22 years behind bars.

Stanley Bruce Early, age 77, was handed his maximum prison sentence on Friday 20 October by Justice Dina Yehia of the New South Wales Supreme Court, for the murder of husband and father Raymond Keam in 1987.

Judge Yehia noted that she had not considered handing Early a life sentence, since there was a “real chance” that he would still die behind bars.

Australia Police
An Australian man has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for committing a gay-hate-fuelled murder. (Getty Images)

Early, who was known in the ‘80s by the nickname ‘Spider’, had been part of the gang that brutally attacked and killed Keane back in 1987 in Alison Park, Sydney, which was known to be a gay beat at the time.

It is understood that, because he was in the park, Early had believed Keam to be gay, which inspired the assault. While it was heard that Early and his crew did not intend to kill Keam, Judge Yehia determined that they did intend to cause him “really serious bodily harm,” per ABC News.

Early was arrested for the murder of Raymond Keam in 2021 – 34 years after the attack occurred.

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The offence was “motivated by hatred or prejudice against homosexual males. The offender continues to deny his involvement in the murder. He has shown no remorse whatsoever.”

Ahead of Early’s sentencing, he was read a victim statement from a person who remained unnamed for legal reasons, who described him as a “soulless monster”.

“Early is a troubled person who not only murdered (Mr Keam) and got away with it for many years but he also destroyed the lives of many other gay men for no reason,” read the victim statement.

Long Bay Prison, Sydney, Australia
Early will spend the next 22 years in Long Bay Prison. (Getty Images)

“The soulless monster that murdered him was still out there living his life while [Mr Keam] was buried in the ground.

“Because of you and your desire to ‘clean up’ Alison Park, you stripped the world of a loving father, partner, friend, and mentor.”

The statement concluded: “Will you feel remorse one day? I don’t know and to be honest I don’t care anymore.

“I choose not to forgive you but to forget you and never think of you again as it’s what you deserve.”

Announcing her ruling on Friday, Judge Yehia explained that her sentence reflected “the abhorrence with which the court views violent acts motivated by an offender’s hatred and prejudice against another individual for no other reason than that person’s sexuality or perceived sexuality”.

“There is no place for such hatred and prejudice in a civilised society,” she added.

Judge Yehia also noted that, despite “several decades of grief and unanswered questions” that Keam’s family has endured and spoken about in court, Early appeared to have shown “no remorse whatsoever.”

Acknowledging that Keam had been dealing with “some mental health issues that appear to be treated appropriately with medication,” Justice Yehia concluded that Early would be detained in the hospital of Long Bay prison while his mental health is being treated.