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NZ: Hutt father tackled alleged sexual attacker (Wellington)

Publish Date: 12 Dec 2011
Source: The Dominion Post

Justin Ames Johnston, 41, has pleaded not guilty of attempted sexual violation of a girl. Photo taken December 12, 2011.

A man with two previous rape convictions was found in the back yard of an Upper Hutt home where a 16-year-old girl was alone in a sleepout, a jury has been told.

Justin Ames Johnston, 41, has pleaded not guilty of attempted sexual violation of the girl on the night of July 19, last year, and threatening grievous bodily harm to her father.

His lawyer says Johnston admits it was him but that he was only going to commit a burglary.

In the High Court at Wellington today, Crown prosecutor Grant Burston said the girl’s father discovered Johnston in the backyard, and tackled him.

However, the man let Johnston go when it is alleged Johnston grabbed a nearby garden fork and said, “If you don’t let go you are going to get this in your face”.

A police dog tracked him through several backyards and found him still in the neighbourhood.

As police investigated they discovered Johnston’s previous convictions and two people who said he had talked obsessively about teenage girls and raping them.

One said Johnston told him he was planning to abduct and rape a teenage girl.

Police also found six cigarette butts, linked to Johnston by DNA, in the driveway beside the house with the sleepout.

From the position where the butts were found a watcher could have seen anyone leaving the house to go to the sleepout.

Johnston’s car was around the corner from the house, one seat folded down.

His trial is expected to last four or five days.

Copyright © 2011 Fairfax New Zealand Limited