September 2010

Child sex abuse pensioner jailed

A PENSIONER has been jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of raping a young girl three decades ago.

James Johnson, of Market Street, Radcliffe, was found guilty of three counts of rape, two offences of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child at Bolton Crown Court.

Judge William Morris sentenced him to six months for the charge of indecency, a year for each of the two counts of indecent assault and nine years for each of the three rapes. The sentences will all run concurrently and Johnson will serve a total of 10 years.

The 71-year-old, who shook his head as the verdicts were read out, will also be placed on the Sex Offenders’Register indefinitely and banned from ever working with children.

Judge Morris said he had taken into account pleas from defence barrister Roderick Carus about Johnson’s age and the fact the offences were committed between 30 and 38 years ago.

He said: “Had they not been such a long time ago, and had you been a younger man, then the sentence would have been somewhat longer.”

Bolton Crown Court heard how Johnson first began abusing the young girl when she was aged just six in 1972, and continued for the next nine years, culminating in repeatedly raping her when she was aged 13.

Iain Simkin, prosecuting, told the trial the abuse began as an inappropriate passionate kiss when the child was aged six, with Johnson telling the girl she could do things for him that his wife was unable to do.

He said that, five years later, he took the girl to a cafe at Rivington Barn and committed indecency with her in his car.

The following year, Mr Simkin said, Johnson went on to indecently assault her in his car at Queens Park.

When the girl was aged 13 Johnson grabbed her while she was in the kitchen of a house in Horwich.

She snatched a knife from the draining board and threatened to stab him, but he took it from her and held it to her throat, pulling off her lower clothing and raping her.

Mr Simkin said that Johnson told his victim if she complained to anyone about it, he would “do the same to your sister”.

The defence had claimed the whole story was a fabrication, made up by the victim to form a bond with her new girlfriend, who had also suffered abuse as a child.

After failing to reach a unanimous verdict, Judge Morris said he would accept a majority verdict from the jury .

They returned around 30 minutes later having found Johnson guilty on all six counts .

Passing sentence, Judge Morris said: “What you did was a gross breach of trust.”