Hate Crimes Inquiry – 2023

Hate Crimes Inquiry location of Scott Miller body

Scott Stuart Miller – Cause of Death

On 18 December 2023, the Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes delivered its report to the Governor of New South Wales.

I was engaged by the Inquiry to conduct an examination of Mr Miller’s clothing for the purposes of bloodstain pattern analysis. The examination took place on 8 May 2023 at the NSWPF Pemulwuy Laboratory. I reviewed the resultant expert report for submission to the inquiry.

Forensic pathologist Dr Linda Lles was engaged by the inquiry in this matter.

[136]1  “While Dr Iles reached the conclusion that Mr Miller died after falling from the cliff above where he was found, she was unable to say, based on the medical evidence, how Mr Miller’s fall occurred.”
In 1997, Mr Miller’s body was found at the bottom of a 7 metre cliff which overlooked Patrick’s yard in Millers Point Sydney. The deceased was found clothed, with apparent blood, his wallet in his back pocket. Ivy was found adjacent the feet, which was broadly consistent with ivy found growing atop the cliff.

On 7 October 1997, an inquest was held at the Coroners Court at Glebe. On that day, Senior Deputy State Coroner Abernethy returned the following finding:

[20]1  “That [Mr Miller] died on 2 March, 1997 at Sydney, of multiple injuries inflicted by a person or persons unknown. As to the person or persons who inflicted the injuries and the precise manner in which such injuries were inflicted, the evidence adduced does not enable me to say.”

Following examination, my expert opinion was that the bloodstain pattern observed on the clothing did not provide substantial support for a hypothesis that included an assault resulting in the bloodletting. The blood evidence was consistent with the body in the position as found, with that being the result of a fall event.

Hate crimes inquiry recommendations as to Mr Scott Stuart Miller:

[172]1  “ It is submitted that a recommendation should be made to the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages to correct the Register of Births Deaths and Marriages pursuant to s 45(1)(b) of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995, such that Mr Miller’s cause of death is recorded as: “multiple injuries sustained in an accidental fall from a height.”

1 – Submission of Counsel Assisting 15 June 2023 In the matter of Scott Stuart Miller.