May 2021

Broadstairs paedophile avoids jail after Kent Police investigation takes years to reach court

A paedophile avoided jail after a “straightforward” police investigation was not brought to court for three-and-a-half years.

Brian Johnson, 65, of Vale Road in Broadstairs, believed he was emailing filthy messages, dirty images of himself and pornography to 13-year-old girls.

But the pervert was revealing his sordid urges to undercover police officers as he prowled the web in 2017.

He was arrested in December of that year – but not charged until January 2021.

A judge last week told Johnson he should have been locked up – however, the delays meant he would serve his sentence in the community.

“In 2017 you were arrested following sexual communications on the internet with people you believed to be 13 years-old girls which transpired to be undercover police officers,” Judge Simon James said.

“If these offences had been brought to the court in a timely manner only an immediate period of imprisonment would be justified.”

He went on: “These matters were disclosed to the police as long ago as 2017. It seems to me it was the most straightforward of investigations, and it has taken to 2021 to be before the court, which does not seem to be on the face of it, justified.”

When he added the “unconscionable delay” had triggered a suspended sentence, Johnson replied: “Thank you.”

Johnson could be seen nodding during the judge’s remarks.

He turned to child sexual abuse images after his wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Canterbury Crown Court heard.

Her sickness coincided with Johnson’s retirement as an aircraft engineer career, bringing “considerable stress”, James Burke continued in mitigation.

Johnson pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual communication with a child at an early opportunity. He also admitted attempting to cause a child to watch sexual activity and making an indecent photograph of a child.

Judge James handed Johnson 18-months in prison suspended for two years and 20 rehabilitation days.

He will also be subject to a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and notification requirements.