15 Oct 2015

Convicted sex offender's case heads to Supreme Court

5:22 pm on 15 October 2015

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by a man who was convicted of attempted rape, despite not physically attacking the girl.

The New Zealand coat of arms, seen here at the Rotorua High and District Court.

The New Zealand coat of arms. Photo: Radio NZ

In July 2010, Justin Johnston was seen near a sleep-out in Lower Hutt occupied by a 16-year-old girl, and cigarette butts at the scene suggested he had been keeping watch there for some time.

He was found guilty at a trial of attempted rape, and again at a retrial.

That jury heard Johnston had committed two other rapes in similar circumstances.

The Supreme Court has now agreed to hear his appeal, based on whether his actions were close enough to the offence of rape for him to be found guilty of attempted rape.

Justin Johnston was sentenced to preventive detention in December 2013.