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Serial sex offender loses appeal

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/07/2016

A serial sex offender caught outside a teenage girl's sleepout in the Hutt Valley has failed to have his latest conviction overturned.

Justin Ames Johnston, 45, was in 2013 sentenced to preventive detention after being found guilty of attempted sexual violation of a 16-year-old after being caught in her backyard.

He previously spent 15 years in prison for raping two women and was still under post-release conditions.

In July 2010 the girl's father spotted Johnston near the sleepout where she slept and chased him off, before police caught him.

Johnston was found guilty in two separate trials - having appealed the first - and then took the case to the Court of Appeal, which rejected his complaints.

He argued his actions at the teen's house - which included going there on multiple occasions, stealing the family's rubbish bin and watching them - did not make up enough evidence to suggest he was going to try to sexually violate the girl.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court released a unanimous decision backing the Court of Appeal's decision.

It rejected Johnston's appeal on the grounds that the evidence in the case about his intentions was enough to decide whether he was just "preparing" or whether it was an "attempt".

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