Child rapist could have been stopped
Predatory paedophile Jackie Greer Johnston could have been stopped in his tracks after he gave an 11 year girl a sexually transmitted infection over 20 years ago
The forner LVF hard man, sentenced last week for eight sexual offences, had sold the little girl for sex to another man in the grounds of a north Down school, and they were caught by a staff member who reported it.
Tests showed that Johnston and the girl had the same STI, and police tried to have him prosecuted for child abuse.
But the case was knocked back by prosecutors, allowing Johnston to continue preying on young girls for another decade. He was still committing rape in 2005.
The loyalist money lender also took his revenge on the 11 year old girl because she had revealed what he’d done to her.
His victim’s extended family were targeted by Johnston and his thugs, who vandalised cars and smashed windows of their homes.
Johnston was given a five year sentence last week for eight sex offences against two women. In April the dangerous paedophile had pleaded guilty to two charges of gross indecency, two of unlawful carnal knowledge and four of indecent assault, all committed between 1987 and 1994.
He is already serving a 16 year sentence for a campaign of abuse against one young female, which started with rape when she was just 10 and continued into her twenties.
In February, the 47 year old was found guilty of a 2002 rape and given a further five years.
The two women involved in the latest case have both spoken out about their ordeal at Johnston’s hands, which continues to affect their lives. Their identities are protected.
Beth, now 38, attempted suicide at 13, ran away from home and eventually fled Northern Ireland for a new life in England.
Johnston had wormed his way into her trust and would regularly turn up at a youth club she attended in the Queen’s Hall in Holywood to abuse her. He also forced her into unprotected sex, on one occasion in a coal shed.
“He would take me up on the stage in the hall behind the curtain and make me perform oral sex on him,” she says.
“At about 11 he was organising for me to have sex with other people. I got caught having sex with this guy he had organised when he turned up at a weekend event at my school and a member of staff caught us.
“That was how the police got involved and the medical examination showed Johnston and I both had the same STI.
“The police tried to get him prosecuted but the DPP wouldn’t take it up, and then my parents tried to take a private prosecution, but they couldn’t get the police files. My parents tried so hard.”
Even as a child Beth knew that the LVF man was feared in Holywood, and when he threatened her she took it seriously.
“He had always said if I told anyone he would harm my family. He was in the LVF, everyone was scared of him.
“I held back some information at 11 because of the threat of reprisals, and they happened anyway. He slashed tyres on cars, he broke windows.”
Beth welcomed the latest prosecution but says she doesn’t believe Johnston’s apology to his victims.
“I’m not saying he ruined my life but he affected it. I still shower a couple of times a day. I have to feel clean.
“In court they said he was apologetic but that was only for the court.”
Clare, whose statement led to Johnston’s guilty plea to the four indecent assault charges, says his attacks on her led to suicide attempts, mental health issues and the breakdown of her marriage.
The predator’s first indecent assault on her took place in Queen’s Hall in Holywood when he mistook her for Beth.
“It was in the dark behind the curtain and I asked him what he was doing and he said he thought I was her. That was the first time he touched me. From the age of eight I knew what he was doing to her.”
Johnston continued to target Clare, plying her with drugs and then forcing her to perform sex acts on him.
“He said if I told my parents he’d tell them I was taking drugs,” says Clare, 38.
She’s relieved that Johnston’s guilty pleas spared her the ordeal of a trial, but believes he did it to avoid a longer sentence.
Clare also hoped the legal process would be a new beginning for her.
“I thought this would be the start of the rest of my life but some days I’m up and some days I’m down. My mum says it’s like grieving. I’ve spent so many years feeling guilty and vulnerable.
“I was glad I didn’t have to go through a trial. Maybe he pleaded guilty for us, maybe he did it for himself,” she says.
Man who abused victim over 16-year period sent to prison
A 44-year old loyalist paramilitary from Co Down was today handed a 16-year prison sentence for a campaign of sexual abuse that spanned from his victim’s childhood until her mid-20s.
Jackie Johnston, who is orginally from Holywood but whose address is now HMP Maghaberry, began abusing the woman in 1989 when she was aged around ten.
The last incident occurred in 2005 when Johnston called at her home and raped her.
Johnston, who the court heard had loyalist paramilitary connections, will serve eight years of his sentence in custody with the remaining eight years spent on supervised licence upon his release.
Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, heard the victim was “sordidly sexually abused” by Johnston, who exerted his dominance over her for years.
Violent sex predator Jackie Greer Johnston lived yards from Briary Primary School
Prosecutor Richard Weir QC said Johnston treated his victim “almost as his plaything”, and said the “level of persistence in this accused’s conduct belies his attitute towards her – that he could do with her what he pleased.”
As a result of the sexual abuse, the woman now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Earlier this year Johnston stood trial at Downpatrick Crown Court on a number of sexual offences, including rape and indecent assault. He consistently denied the charges – and continues to do so – but the jury convicted him on six counts.
The jury heard the abuse began when the victim was a child and was raped by Johnston. Other examples of the abuse carried out included the then child being “scooped up” and thrown in a hedge where she was indecently assaulted, abused in his car in a local park and being forced to perform oral sex on him.
The jury was also told that in December 2005, Johnston called at his victim’s home with two other men who were armed with baseball bats. Johnston told the woman they needed somewhere to stay for a short time, before Johnston dismissed the other two men then raped her. After the act, Johnston asked if she was on the pill, telling her if this wasn’t the case, she should take the ‘morning after pill.’
The woman at first only disclosed what had happened to close family members, before contacting Nexus in 2012.
Johnston was arrested last July when he “emphatically denied” the woman’s claims. These denials continued throughout the trial, and Johnston still maintains his innocence.
Defence barrister Richard Green said Johnston had problems with alcohol in the past, adding his client “has been making the best use of his time in custody.”
Sentencing Johnston, Judge Geoffery Miller QC spoke of the lasting effect the abuse has had on Johnston’s victim, adding: “I have little doubt that he used his perceived status and position to intimidate and control” her. The judge also said: “The defendant’s level of control over the complainant was such that he felt he could do is he pleased, whenever he pleased and with complete impunity.”
Judge Miller also spoke of Johnston’s “directionless and feckless existance” which includes a criminal record of 49 convictions including charges of making petrol bombs and dressing like a member of a paramilitary organisation.
Before handing Johnston a 16 year sentence, he was told by Judge Miller that he should “rethink his attitude towards women”.
The PSNI have released a statement welcoming the sentence.
Detective Inspector Richard Graham from the PSNI’s Public Protection Unit said: “I am pleased with today’s outcome and with the sentence handed down.
“The term of 16 years reflects the seriousness of the abuse endured by the victim, both as a child and as an adult.
“It also sends out a strong message to those involved in the abuse of children that we are determined to make them amenable for their crimes.
“I would offer encouragement to anyone who has experienced abuse to come forward and report it to police.
“This case proves that even after a substantial period of time has passed it is still possible for a full investigation to be carried out, for a case to be placed before the courts and for justice to prevail.”