AN EVIL pensioner who systematically sexually abused three young boys, and drove two of them to attempting suicide, was today jailed for four and six months. Joseph Johnston, 74, abused one of the boys more than "a thousand times" over an eight-year period, his first attack on the boy when the youngster was just four years of age. Johnston, of Ellismuir Street, Coatbridge, began his reign of terror on the boys in 1984. It was also revealed he had sexually abused a young girl 40 years ago and was then jailed for six months. Sentencing Johnston at Airdrie Sheriff Court today, Sheriff Morag Galbraith described the crimes as "appalling and despicable." She said: "You have been convicted by a jury of appalling crimes. "For eight years you persistently abused one of the boys, who was only four years old when the abuse started.