6 Jul 2016

Man loses unusual attempted rape case

12:35 pm on 6 July 2016

A man convicted of attempted rape despite not physically attacking the girl involved has lost his final legal bid at the Supreme Court to have his convictions overturned.

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Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Justin Johnston was twice tried and found guilty of attempting to rape a 16-year-old in July 2010.

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

It was a similar scenario to two rapes he had been found guilty of some years earlier where cigarette butts had also provided evidence of his presence at the scene.

Johnston's lawyer told the Supreme Court his client's actions had not gone beyond preparing for an attack and could not be said to constitute an actual rape attempt.

However, the court ruled today that the trial Judge correctly applied the law and the legal requirements to prove a rape attempt had been met in this case.