UPDATE 08/12/11 Sentencing today
R v Matthew Charles Johnson (sentence)
Melbourne Court 4, 11:00am
Justice Lex Lasry
Johnson is set for sentencing at 11am (now) But Justice Lex Lasry will go through the crime and circumstances before he actually sentences him. Hopefully he will do that within an hour or 2….They like to go on a bit…
I expect the last words Johnson will hear before being carted back to Barwon will be life Imprisonment, and then as it will be his final appearance he will leave the judge with some fine words of wisdom…
Anyway I will put an update as soon as I get the info, I was thinking about going in for it, but apparently the scumbag’s loser friends don’t think that highly of me I hear….haha
Justice Lasry has just adjourned the court until tomorrow morning at 9.30am when further administrative applications will be heard and considered. Johnson has now been remanded to Barwon Prison until further hearing on plea and sentence.
MORE TO COME 3.50pm 29/09/11 scroll down to read what the jury didnt know about this KILLER
CARL Williams’ killer Matthew Charles Johnson has been found guilty of his murder.
The verdict was reached just before 3.23pm today after deliberations that took over 13 hours over two days.
The violent career criminal bashed the gangland identity to death with an exercise bike stem in a surprise attack caught on chilling security video.
But staff weren’t manning the cameras that captured Johnson approaching Williams, 39, from behind as he sat at a table reading the Herald Sun in his high-security Barwon prison unit on April 19 last year.
Johnson, 38, told the jury he acted in self-defence, claiming another prisoner warned him that Williams was going to attack him with a sock full of billiard balls so he had to get in first.
But a Supreme Court jury’s verdict means they didn’t believe the threat was ever made.
The trial sat for 14 days and heard explosive allegations made by Williams before his death, including that a corrupt policeman paid him to have police informer Terence Hodson executed.
The prosecution had argued that Johnson’s motive might have been Williams’ agreement to help police over the Hodson murder.
The jury weren’t told Johnson has well over 100 convictions, has spent most of his adult life in prison and has a history of bashing other inmates for “turning dog” or helping authorities.
A former concreter who didn’t finish high school, Johnson was a jail heavyweight and self-proclaimed “general” of a group of inmates who called themselves the Prisoners of War.
He wrote of his plans to kill Williams the day before he did, telling another inmate, “not much doing here brother, just D2TE (death to the enemy) the way it should be”.
“I think I’ll have to hang around for a while longer … doesn’t matter but coz I love this s—. I am the true general so I must keep things in good order, true.”
He told nobody of the threat by Williams and the man who allegedly conveyed the message, cellmate Tommy Ivanovic, did not give evidence at the trial.
Johnson claimed Williams treated him badly, looked down on him and told him he was disloyal for refusing to kill a policeman for him.
He said he feared retribution for his family outside if he reacted to Williams’ provocation.
“He was a killer. If you’re not going to take a threat that comes from his corner seriously there’s something wrong with you,” he told the jury.
The trial heard evidence from Williams’ father George, who once shared the unit with Williams and Johnson before his release on parole, and Roberta Williams.
The jury also heard details of Williams’ claims of high-reaching police corruption, including that former drug squad detective Paul Dale paid him to have Hodson killed so the informer would not be able to give evidence in Dale’s court case.
VIDEO FROM INSIDE THE UNIT THE DAY CARL WAS MURDERED
AUDIO SECRETLY RECORDED INSIDE JAIL DURING VISITS
WHAT THE JURY DID NOT KNOW AT THE TRIAL
THE jury in the Matthew Johnson trial knew he was a criminal, but heard nothing of his frighteningly violent past.
More than a decade before he bashed Williams to death, he’d committed a strikingly similar crime in the very same unit of Barwon Prison – and claimed self-defence that time too.
And recently he faced a murder charge after an 18-year-old was shot dead over $50 worth of cannabis. That time, the jury believed him and he was cleared.
In 1998, he was part of a group of inmates that attacked a fellow prisoner for “giving information” to authorities – and used the same weapon he killed Williams with.
The victim of that beating, killer Greg Brazel, had been put into an Acacia unit exercise yard alone for his own safety.
But even prison walls were no match for Johnson and his cronies, who were set on attacking him.
Using a rowing machine and chair, the group pounded the armoured glass protecting Brazel for 45 minutes until they broke through, with Johnson then wielding a sandwich maker to inflict large gashes to his head.
A sandwich maker was something Johnson admitted to the jury he’d also considered using to kill Williams.
A prison officer reported seeing him use an exercise bike seat with the post attached to hit Brazel before punching and kicking him on the ground.
He ordered one of the others to stand guard and stop prison officers entering.
When charged over the assault, Johnson claimed Brazel had broken the glass himself and invited Johnson to enter before attacking him.
Johnson said he was forced to hit and kick him in self-defence.
During the County Court trial the group threw a bag of excrement into the jury box and Johnson broke wind into a microphone.
Later, Johnson menacingly called out to the juror that had been struck by the excrement – by name.
They were banished from their own hearing to watch proceedings from another room linked by video camera.
There his co-offenders bared their buttocks at the camera and the group disrupted the hearing with the Collingwood theme song.
Johnson was also involved in bashing another prisoner in 1995 after breaking into a protection unit.
By the time of the Brazel attack he had already racked up 132 convictions.
His shocking record includes taking part in the infamous Port Phillip Prison riot in 1998, armed robberies and break-ins.
He was accused of shooting dead a teenager in 2007 over a $50 drug purchase.
“Before the deceased could explain himself, Johnson pulled out a nine millimetre pistol and shot him in the chest,” the jury was told in that trial, with a co-offender giving evidence that he saw Johnson pull the trigger.
He was found not guilty of the crime. Johnson also recently pleaded guilty over a carjacking, in which he held up a mother and two teenagers at gunpoint as they sat in a McDonald’s car park
More here about that killing here http://aussiecriminals.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/matthew-johnson-killed-kid-over-50-drugs/#comment-13873
(Including some great debate and comment)