One of three men convicted for the July 1990 murder of Thai man Krichakorn Rattanajaturathaporn told a coronial inquest yesterday the death was more to do with unfortunate coincidence than a hatred of homosexuals.

Sean McAuliffe and his brother David were under-aged drinking with a friend down at Bondi Beach at about 1am on 20 July 1990 when they decided to rob or roll someone in nearby Mark’s Park. Both men told the Coroner’s Court they were not aware Mark’s Park was a gay beat at the time.

It was robbery-motivated, McAuliffe told the court. I found out later it was a homosexual beat.

Both McAuliffe brothers have served 11 years of 20-year sentences for their convictions. They will both be eligible for parole next year.

Earlier this week Matthew Davis, who was convicted over Rattanajaturathaporn’s death, told the court he hated gay men with a passion at the time of the attack.

All three men have denied having any involvement in the death of John Russell, a 31-year-old gay man found at the bottom of a Tamarama cliff in November 1989, or the disappearances of Wollongong newsreader Ross Warren in July 1989 and Gilles Mattaini in September 1985.

Russell, Warren and Mattaini are the subjects of a coronial inquest currently before senior deputy state coroner Jacqueline Milledge. Davis and the McAuliffe brothers had been identified in a two-year police investigation as persons of interest for their involvement in gay-hate-related assaults around the time of the death and disappearances.

The court also heard evidence from a man convicted of the murder of a different gay man in Alexandria Park, who died after he was lured to the park and assaulted by eight youths. The man, whose name was suppressed, denied involvement in any other gay bashings in the eastern suburbs in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He also denied knowing anybody who regularly went gay bashing.

A secretly recorded tape was played to the court in which two muffled voices were heard discussing a number of gay bashings -“ including a description of being covered in blood and a suggestion one of the victims was a dirty fucking maggot [who] should have gone off the cliff that night. Patrick Saidi, representing the NSW Police, alleged one of the voices on the tape belonged to the witness. He denied it.

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