Gary Michael Johnstone

Posted: February 10, 2013 by Serendipity in Photo, South Australia
Tags: , , , ,

Johnstone – Gary Michael - Photo2


UPDATE:  April 2013

‘Depraved’ child porn viewer jailed

By court reporter Candice Marcus

Updated 1 hour 33 minutes ago

A man charged with child pornography offences after a tip-off from the FBI prompted police to raid his house has been jailed for eight months.

Gary Michael Johnstone, 54, from Allendale East in South Australia’s south east, pleaded guilty to several offences including accessing child pornography and making it available to others online.

The District Court heard he emailed a woman he believed was sexually abusing her daughter and asked her to take pictures of the girl for him.

Johnstone also contacted an 11-year-old girl from Sydney through an internet chat site, asking her sexually explicit questions and encouraging her to send him photographs of herself.

The court heard police were unable to locate the girl but found evidence of the online conversation when they raided Johnstone’s home and analysed his computer equipment.

They also located 658 images and 33 videos of child pornography, 75 of which were placed in the worst two categories.

The court was told Johnstone worked as a panel beater.

It heard he started looking at child pornography when he developed depression after the death of his mother in 2000.

The court heard Johnstone had never married or had a girlfriend and felt socially isolated.

He also suffers from a neurological condition affecting his face and has been diagnosed as being in the early stages of multiple sclerosis.

Judge Paul Cuthbertson acknowledged Johnstone had been seeking treatment for his sexual attraction to children but said the offences warranted an immediate prison sentence.

“The depth of your depravity is illustrated by an email you sent on the 22nd [of] March 2009, which wasn’t the subject of any charges, to [a woman called] Warja,” he said.

“Having knowledge she had a young daughter whose photographs you had seen, you said ‘Well you’re amazing, I’ve never heard of or seen a woman who would do this with their daughter’.

“Indeed, it may well gave been amazing that a woman should subject her daughter to such depravity, but you encouraged it.”

Judge Cuthbertson sentenced Johnstone to two years in jail but ordered he be released after serving eight months.

Johnstone will then be subject to a 15-month good behaviour bond.

Man encouraged child abuse: judge

By court reporter Candice Marcus

Updated Mon Feb 4, 2013 3:51pm AEDT

A South Australian man charged with child pornography offences after a tip-off from the FBI has been told by a judge to prepare for time in jail.

Mount Gambier man Gary Michael Johnstone, 54, was arrested after the FBI contacted the Australian Federal Police (AFP) about a child pornography ring.

Prosecutors say Johnstone was frequently in contact with people whom he believed were abusing children at his request.

Police allegedly found 658 illicit images and 33 videos on Johnstone’s computer equipment after they searched his house.

He has pleaded guilty to accessing and sharing child pornography on the internet and making indecent communications with a child.

South Australia’s District Court today heard Johnstone had made sexually suggestive comments to an 11-year-old girl through an internet chat room, the electronic logs of which were also stored on his computer.

Prosecutor Tim Griffin told the court Johnstone regularly emailed people who sent him pictures of children under their care.

“Mr Johnstone at least believed that the adult on the other end of the email exchange had a child available,” he said.

Judge Paul Cuthbertson said that throughout the email exchanges Johnstone actively encouraged the sexual abuse of a child.

“A disturbing aspect is that [Johnstone] is actually contemplating that there is some poor little kid somewhere that’s being subject to, and over a period of time he’s encouraging it, sexual abuse,” he said.

“He says in one of his emails, ‘I’d like to see some pics of the girl’ and in one of them he says, ‘and have you found someone to have sex with her yet?’.”

‘Grave offending’

The court heard Johnstone immediately admitted his conduct when the AFP arrived at his house with a search warrant.

Johnstone’s lawyer John Dillon said his client developed depression after his mother’s death and started viewing the material online.

He said his client was remorseful and was now undergoing rehabilitation.

Mr Dillon told the court Johnstone should receive a suspended sentence because of his health problems including the early stages of multiple sclerosis and a painful nerve condition in his face.

“He poses a negligible risk of reoffending and personal deterrence shouldn’t weigh that heavily on this court’s mind,” he said.

“In terms of general deterrence, given the particular issues of this man, if the court simply sentences him to an immediate term of imprisonment it’s doing more harm than good.”

But Mr Griffin argued that an immediate jail sentence would be the only appropriate penalty given the extremely serious nature of the offending.

Mr Griffin said it was also concerning that Johnstone had propositioned a girl in an internet chat room.

“It is particularly grave offending. Parents can only be so diligent in trying to ensure their kids remain safe in an online environment, but with massive amounts of email access and smartphones and computers, they can’t constantly monitor where their children are online and whether they are safe,” he said.

“The courts need to send a strong message of deterrence to like-minded members of the community.”

Judge Cuthbertson told Johnstone to prepare for a custodial sentence.

He was released on continuing bail ahead of his sentencing in April.


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