Warren Kenneth Johnston
From the Evening Post 8th October 1997
A Wellington man's jail term of at least 10 years for sexual offences has been upheld despite one of his convictions being quashed. Former Khandallah bus driver Warren Kenneth Johnston, 49, had a string of sexual offences going back to 1972.In March, having been convicted of more offences involving two brothers, Johnston was sentenced to preventive detention, a jail term from which he would not be eligible for parole for at least 10 years. Johnston appealed his convictions and sentence. The Court of Appeal on Monday agreed that one for indecent assault could not stand. The boy involved in that charge was not a witness at Johnston's trial.
The court banned publication of the circumstances of the complainant. Three convictions, two for sexual violation and one for indecent assault, in respect of the younger boy were upheld. The court said preventive detention was still appropriate even though Johnston's conviction for one indecent assault was quashed. His latest crimes were committed while on parole from an eight-year prison term imposed in 1990. Johnston was alleged to have been a member of a paedophile network. The Court of Appeal said Johnston's preventive detention sentence was inevitable. Justice Henry said public interest and protection of vulnerable young people had to take priority.
From the Dominion 29th March 1997
A convicted paedophile who sexually violated two boys during weekend prison leave was jailed indefinitely when he appeared for sentence in the High Court at Wellington on Thursday. Justice Neazor imposed a sentence of preventive detention with a minimum of 10 years' jail on Warren Kenneth Johnston, 49, of Wellington. The judge said an eight-year jail sentence for sodomy in 1990 had not been enough to stop Johnston's perverted predilection for boys and preventive detention was needed to protect society. "You are just the kind of person for whom preventive detention was designed," Justice Neazor said. "It will keep you under scrutiny for the rest of your life."
He said a psychiatric report said Johnston had been given the best aversion treatment available in New Zealand but even this had not reduced the significant risk he posed to boys. Johnston's behaviour had had tragic effects on his victims. "But I suspect you either don't realise or don't care what happens to your victims," the judge said. He said that during his trial Johnston had tried to blame another man for what he had done. "But the jury did not accept that and neither do I," he said. Prosecutor Fiona Guy said Johnston was a member of a paedophile ring and a heavy sentence was needed to deter other members of this group.
She said the first of 30 convictions Johnston had for sexually molesting boys was entered in 1972 and the present charges of sexual violation and indecent assault, like many of the other charges, related only to samples of repetitive sexual offending. Johnston used his interest in computers to entice boys into his influence and tried to deny or minimise his crimes, she said. He appeared to regard his own sexual abuse as a child as a positive thing. Defence lawyer Keith Jefferies said the reason treatment had failed Johnston was because the treatment was not appropriate. He was intelligent and likely to respond if the treatment was appropriate.
From the Evening Post 29th March 1997
A Wellington member of a paedophile network has been jailed indefinitely for sex offences committed while on weekend prison leave and parole. Warren Kenneth Johnston, 49, stood ramrod straight for his sentencing in the High Court at Wellington on Thursday. Justice Neazor imposed preventive detention. Johnston will not be eligible for parole for at least 10 years. The judge said Johnston was the kind of person for whom the sentence was designed. A jury found Johnston, formerly a bus driver of Khandallah, guilty of two counts of indecent assault and two of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection of brothers up to the age of 16. The charges represented "very many" instances of offending, Justice Neazor said. The court heard that Johnston had had 30 sex offence convictions over 24 years but was not jailed until 1990, when he received eight years.
While on weekend leave he offended against one boy and when paroled in October 1994 he abused the boy's younger brother, prosecutor Fiona Guy said. She said Johnston had received the best treatment available for sex offenders. The treatment centre had fully documented his involvement in a paedophile network. She said Johnston had not complied with the treatment conditions of his parole. Defence lawyer Keith Jefferies said Johnston received treatment directed more to patients who had abused their daughters. He said Johnston was not the "hopeless case" for whom preventive detention was meant. Justice Neazor said Johnston played on the boys' interest in computers. A letter Johnston wrote to one of the boys from prison was also designed to tie him to Johnston. Johnston's history suggested he would offend whenever he could, and the court could not take the chance of him doing so again.
From the Evening Post 12th March 1997
A jury has found a Wellington man guilty of sexual offences against two young brothers, one of whom has since died. A police officer gave evidence at a High Court trial last week that he understood a note from the boy found after his death did not mention Warren Kenneth Johnston. The jury spent more than 10 hours considering the six charges against Johnston, 49. They returned guilty verdicts on two charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and two charges of indecent assault. One of the indecent assault charges related to the boy who has since died, whose unsworn statement was given to police two months before his death, aged 16. The jury was unable to reach verdicts on two other indecent assault charges relating to him.
Johnston was found guilty of offences between 1991 and 1996. The younger boy is now aged 13. Johnston, who pleaded not guilty, was remanded in custody for sentencing on March 27. Prosecutor Grant Burston told Justice Neazor that Johnston was convicted of similar offences in 1990, and the Crown would seek a term of preventive detention, a prison term of indefinite length where parole is not considered for at least 10 years. The Crown alleged Johnston shifted his attentions from one brother to the other when the older boy got a girlfriend. Summing up, Justice Neazor said having only the dead boy's written statement meant his credibility could not be tested in court. But the jury could first consider the younger boy's evidence and then consider if there was a pattern between what the two boys alleged Johnston did.
Date of Birth
Sentenced to preventative detention in March 1997
A previous term of 8 years was imposed in 1991 of which he served approximately 3 years
Sentenced to another 3 years in July 2012
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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