Not Wanted, Wanted

LAST UPDATED: 10 Dec, 2011 @ 11:10
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Not Wanted, Wanted

Daniel Johnston• Thanks to the Olive Press a dangerous British criminal in Spain is today behind bars

• After a tip off to the paper, we tracked down and photographed Crimestoppers Most Wanted Daniel Johnston, sought for a string of violent robberies in the UK

Exclusive By Jon Clarke in Sevilla

HE didn’t know what was about to hit him.

As Daniel Paul Johnston walked out of the pub with his girlfriend he had no idea that his two year Spanish sojourn would soon be over.

Grinning, as he strolled down the road in 70-degree December sunshine, life couldn’t get much better.

Working as a handyman/builder in a quiet inland village in Sevilla province, he was living rent free at his girlfriend’s home.

He certainly appeared to have got away with a string of vicious robberies taking place in the UK between 2004 and 2006.

Daniel Johnston

That is until one sharp eyed reader of the Olive Press spotted his mugshot in our report last month on Crimestoppers Operation Captura.

After tipping off the paper we then tracked him down to the house of his girlfriend in the village of Pruna, near Olvera, where a small community of Britons live.

And on Wednesday morning, his days in the sun were no more when a team from Spain’s crack National Police, alongside agents from the UK’s Soca, arrested him at his home.

A spokesman for Soca said: “I can unofficially confirm that we have picked up Daniel Johnston in Spain.”

Johnston, 28, was wanted for a spate of vicious robberies in the Swadlincote area, near Derby, between 2004 and 2006.

With his face partially covered and armed with a knife, on each occasion Johnston is alleged to have threatened staff in a series of off licences raids.

“These were serious crimes,” said Crimestoppers co-ordinator Debbie Ryan. “He really scared the staff in these raids and we would expect to get a good custodial sentence for him, if convicted.”

Daniel Johnston

But unfortunately after police arrested Johnston, from Burton on Trent, he managed to do a flit to Spain while out on bail.

Tracked down via his fingerprints (suggesting earlier crimes), Johnston however, was charged with the four robberies in his absence.

“We knew he had gone to Spain which is why we included him in Operation Captura’s list of Most Wanted,” continued Ryan.

“It is already two years ago, but it would be good to get him back.”

It emerges that Johnston has been living amid a close-knit English community for the last few years, rarely venturing out of the village.

“He keeps a low profile, always wearing a baseball hat and rarely goes out of the village,” said one local source.

Driving a Renault van with a West Ham sticker on the back he has been working as a handyman at his local English pub Alba’s Bar.

Further enquiries reveal that until recently he has been working with a well-known local conman.

The Mancunian, who claims to be a builder, has apparently done a runner from the village for defrauding half a dozen fellow Britons.
He is also said to owe tens of thousands of euros to local builders yards.

 

Said the local source: “These two have ruined the lives of half a dozen families.

“They are a right dodgy pair and it has become something of a standing joke here that Danny was wanted back home for a spate of off licence robberies.

“No-one has reported him though as people’s attitude here is that he’s ‘all right’. ‘He’s a nice enough bloke and has not hurt anyone around here so leave him alone’.

“Christ, he´s even using the same name. Talk about brazen.

“The final confirmation came when I spotted his face in the Olive Press newspaper last month. And then his girlfriend was seen going around collecting up all the papers with his photograph in it.

“I think that is a disgrace and he needs to be picked up and locked up for all the trauma he has caused to the victims back home.

“Otherwise it sends the message that crime pays.”

The paper contacted Crimestoppers and Britain’s serious crime unit SOCA of his existence in Spain on November 19, but incredibly nothing was done until this week.

Daniel Johnston on front page of the Olive Press in SpainRealising that little was being done we ran a story on our front page about how Johnston was apparently going to get away with it.

Under the headline ‘Not Wanted’, we told how we had called Crimestoppers and SOCA a dozen times to try and get something done.

A spokesman for SOCA had told us humbly: “He wouldn’t be on the list if we didn’t want to catch him.

“He may not be Al Capone, but he is either significantly dangerous or serious in the crimes he has committed.”

He insisted the long time delay was due to the Spanish police, who had been alerted of his whereabouts a fortnight ago.

“We don’t have any say on when or how they are going to pick him up,” he added.

 

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19 COMMENTS

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  1. Dear Mr Jon Clarke

    This is in response to your article in the Olive Press, regarding Daniel Paul Johnston, dated 11th December 2008. I fear that you have been misinformed and I would like to right this and give you the ‘facts’ not ‘fiction’.

    It is known that Daniel was indeed arrested in January 2004, however there was not enough evidence against Daniel and he was released on bail, whilst the police tried to gather more evidence. At this time Daniel knew of others who were already in prison and had also just lost his father to Cancer. Because of this Daniel panicked and did run to Spain on the 23rd February to be with his mother. Unfortunatley this meant that Daniel had in fact jumped bail.
    Whilst Daniel was living in Spain three armed robberies took place in England, between September 2004 and January 2005. As these crimes were similar to the one that Daniel had previously been arrested for the police formally charged Daniel for these too. However due to Daniel already residing in Spain during this time and has only returned to England once in 2007, to visit his fiance’s family, it is impossible for Daniel to have commited these crimes.

    Your local source has also misled you regarding Daniel working in partnership with the ‘mancunian conman.’ Yes Daniel worked for him, along with other people including both Spanish and English residents. Neither Daniel nor any of the others employed by this conmen knew or suspected that the intentions were to ‘rip people off’

    It has been reported that Daniel spent most of his time in his favourite local bar and wears a baseball cap to hide his face, again I fear that you have been misled. Daniel will occasionally be seen in the local bars and in fact rarely wears a baseball cap, and never to cover his face.

    You have stated that his fiance ran around collecting your paper last month in an effort to hide a picture of Daniel. This did not happen and I can inform you that neither Daniel nor his fiance were aware that his picture was even printed in the papers.

    You call Daniel ‘brazen’ for openly using his full name, do you not think that this is because he is not a hardened criminal? But in fact a well liked person of this community whose only crime was to become scared and as a result jump bail to be with his family. I am not saying that this is not a crime in itself but people need to be aware of his reasoning, however flawed, as to why he did this.

    It has recently become known that the English Police knew exactly where Daniel was living, but due to lack of evidence were unable to arrest. Why is it then that Daniel has only recently become a ‘dangerous man’? If indeed Daniel is so violent why have the Englilsh Police not acted sooner? Surely there will be some information to prove Daniels whereabouts during these crimes, for example flight details.

    You have been seriously misled by your local source, and we believe we know who these people are, and would like to make you aware that due to the current working climate within Spain it has led to, we believe, these people coming forward with flawed information. In order for them to have a nice Christmas they have in fact resorted to ruining Christmas for Daniel and his family and friends. Due to this we are now asking for you help to right the injustice that has been done to Daniel and his family. This would be very much appreciated.

    Many Thanks

  2. dear rachel,

    thanks for your email.. i would indeed be very happy to help prove daniel’s arrest is a miscarriage of justice and putting his mugshot on crimestoppers Most Wanted list was a mistake.. have you got specific proof that Daniel was in Spain when those crimes were committed in sept 2004 to 2005… ? were his fingerprints not found at the scene? If the police had no evidence, why have they indeed arrested him now?
    Had Daniel ever been arrested prior to his arrest in January 2004? and what for?
    What proof is there that he didnt commit the first robbery?
    Pls get in touch with me at my email [email protected] with some of the answers and I will be only too happy to help.

    jon clarke
    editor
    the Olive Press

  3. im shocked that this story has been run at all without all the facts,why dont you name your informer so they can be asked where they got this information from,after all, we pride ourselfs on being innocent untill proven guilty in the u.k.
    if danny is found to be innocent,i hope the informer will say sorry through you paper too, fairs fair????????? lets hope you are seen to be fair

  4. ive know
    n danny for 3 years,he has lived in my house in spain.hes the nicest ,kindest man,and is decent in every way
    before when he lived in england he may have been a bit wayward.but since moving to spain in 2004,he has changed his ways.(he grew up)
    hes become a good provider,and dad to my grand daughter and we all respect and love him alot
    he has been wrongly accused of crimes he could not have commited,as he was in my house at the time,and as for for being involved with kevin the builder,its a load of rubbish,as kevin was the one who absconded with everyones money, not danny,he remained in the village with us.
    basicaly,this is trial by media,which is so so wrong,and the truth will come out soon,watch this space
    your faithfully jan

  5. joe,

    read the story first…. the olive press reported on the fact that daniel johnston was being sought by crimestoppers and the british police for the last four years for a series of serious assaults in nottingham.. a reader then simply reported that he lived in a village in andalucia. It is not our job to judge whether he is guilty or not. Merely to report on the facts, which we have at hand. We would never name our sources and we will naturally keep an open mind as to whether he is guilty or not. Of course, we hope – and insist – he gets a fair trial.
    We are still awaiting further information from Rachel (see above) on his apparent innocence.

    jon clarke
    olive press editor

  6. you tell them jan,you know him better than anyone else.this paper chose to run this utter trash without doing their homework,its a disgrace!!!!
    i urge people to boycot this “rag”and when the truths out in the open i hope the paper will be held accountable for printing this story.this has insensed alot of people,and people should comment on this site and say how they feel about it,and as for your informer i hope your happy with yourselfs,this could have been your son,how would you have felt if the boot was on the other foot??????
    keep yer chin up danny we are all thinking of ya mate,and we are all here for ya when ya get home

  7. i would just like to comment on the character assasination of Daniel Johnston at the hands of the olive press. I thought their story was cruelly inaccurate as they themselves have no definitive proof that daniel was involved in any of these crimes. We all know that sensationalism sells the news. but also newspapers should report facts not hearsay. i would also like to add that i have known Danny for some time, and find him to be helpful and considerate in all ways. He has carried out work in my house, and i have always felt happy to leave him alone there. He has never given me any cause to doubt his honesty and integrity. He has enormous support from the people living here in Pruna, a fact borne out by the number of people who have been willing to add their names to a communal letter instigated by a local business man. Probably the only people who will fail to sign this letter are the people who reported to you his presence here. D o they realise how many peoples Christmase have been spoilt by their actions? Or do they even care? Keep your chin up Danny , we look forward to seeing you home very soon.

  8. Dear Jon
    Ive Just Come Back From Pruna For A Christmas Break From The uk
    I Was Shocked To Here About Danny
    You`ve Been Hoodwinked
    You`ve Wrongly Accused & Stupidly Paid A Reward
    Out For Wrong Info
    Call Your self a Professional
    More Like A Jackanory Writer.
    Many People In The Village Are Disgusted Whats Been Done To Daniel Including Some Spanish Locals
    What A Roll Figure Daniel Is Towards His New Family In Pruna
    You Realy Spoilt A Little Girls Christmas This Year.It`s a Wonder You Was`nt Visited By 3 Ghosts For Listening to such garbage from a hardup yorkshire couple, Grassing him up,
    the words out in the village & the fingers been pointed,A Patision Is All Ready Being Sign’d In The Village.
    Danny Has Realy Tried His Hardest Since He Moved To Spain.
    I Have To Take My Hat Off To Him,There Is’nt Many A Young Man Would Take To A Single Mum & Daughter
    Provide For Them,Put A Roof over There Heads
    You’ve Realy Started A Witch Hunt.
    “Daniel” When You Get Free I Hope You Take The Olive Press TO The Cleaners Mate ” More Like OLIVE Out Of “ON THE BUSES”

  9. just wanted to wish the “scum” that lied about danny a very happy new year,once the truths out,which will be very soon, you will be named and shamed,then see how you like it.
    we all know who you are,people in the village all know. happy 2009.was it worth it ???? are you really that happy now ????? you wont even defend your actions on here will you,shows everyone just what your really like doesnt it,cowards

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