Man had rape and kidnap list, jury told

Last updated 12:46 01/07/2013
Justin Ames Johnston
JUSTIN AMES JOHNSTON: On trial for attempted sexual violation.

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A man found near a schoolgirl's sleepout in Upper Hutt had a history of intruder-rapes, a Wellington jury has been told.

Justin Ames Johnston, 43, pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted sexual violation of the 16-year-old on July 19, 2010.

A jury of 10 women and two men in the High Court at Wellington heard today that a 16-year-old girl was in a sleepout behind her family's Upper Hutt home.

When her father was collecting firewood at about 7.30pm he saw Johnston on the section, chased and caught him on a nearby property.

Prosecutor Grant Burston said Johnston grabbed a nearby implement and threatened the father with it so he was let go. However, a police dog tracked him down nearby.

After his arrest police discovered that Johnston had committed two intruder-rapes. The first was of a 26-year-old in 1993 and the other of a 15-year-old in 1994.

In 2006, while in prison at Paremoremo, he spoke to another inmate about plans to kidnap the daughter of a bank manager and said he wanted to rape her, the court heard.

He asked the fellow inmate, who was to be released first, to gather items needed for the abduction and rape. The inmate told a prison officer about Johnston's plan and Johnston's preparation list was handed to police.

After Johnston was released from prison in 2009 he was boarding in the Lower Hutt suburb of Belmont.

A man he met at the boarding house is expected to give evidence that Johnston would often talk about females and appeared to be obsessed with young girls.

Johnston said that after his parole finished he wanted to grab a 14 or 15-year-old, take her to a place where she could be tied up and raped over a period of days, the man is expected to say.

Johnston's parole finished in February 2010, Burston said.

Johnston's lawyer, Brendan Horsley, told the jury that that Johnston was charged with attempted sexual violation because of his history, not what he was doing the night he was caught in Upper Hutt.

Horsley said the defence case was that Johnston was broke, he had bills to pay, was desperate to get money and wanted to steal stuff.

If they looked at the evidence dispassionately the jurors could not conclude that Johnston was there to enter the sleepout and rape the girl, he said.

Police constructed the case around Johnston, not around the evidence, Horsley said.

He asked the jurors not to be swayed by prejudice against Johnston because of what he had done previously.

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Johnston's trial is due to end this week.

- The Dominion Post

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