'Depraved man' who raped woman on busy London underground jailed for 9 years

The attack was witnessed by a French national travelling with his 11-year-old son
Photo issued by British Transport Police of Ryan Johnston, 37, who has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment with a further five on licence at Inner London Crown Court (Image: British Transport Police/PA Wire)Photo issued by British Transport Police of Ryan Johnston, 37, who has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment with a further five on licence at Inner London Crown Court (Image: British Transport Police/PA Wire)
Photo issued by British Transport Police of Ryan Johnston, 37, who has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment with a further five on licence at Inner London Crown Court (Image: British Transport Police/PA Wire)

A man who raped a woman on the London Underground during a busy morning service has been jailed and sentenced to nine years in prison with a further five on licence, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Ryan Johnston, 37, was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on Friday 8 December and was charged with rape, attempted rape and two counts of sexual assault, while he was also charged with outraging public decency in relation to another complainant.

Johnston first chased two women to their home after they noticed him masturbating while looking through the window outside a house near Bounds Green Underground station at around 5am on 23 February 2020, the British Transport Police (BTP) said.

Johnston banged on their door and put his hand through the letterbox after the women managed to get inside safely, before he eventually left.

He then boarded a Piccadilly Line train at Heathrow Terminal Five around three hours later, where he walked through the carriage and approached a young woman who was asleep, the BTP said.

Johnston sexually assaulted and then raped the 20-year-old woman, who was returning home from an evening out with friends, in front of other passengers, the CPS said.

The attack was witnessed by a French national travelling with his 11-year-old son, and they reported the incident to police but the incident was not captured on CCTV and officers were unable to identify the victim at the time of the attack, the BTP said.

Johnston was arrested at HMP Brixton – where he was serving time for burglary – in December 2022, after a BTP review of historic rape cases led to his identification. Detectives also identified the victim in the same month.

The French national was flown over to the UK to testify at the trial, where they helped to rebut Johnston’s claim that he knew the complainant and that she had consented, the CPS said.

A jury found Johnston guilty of all five charges following a two-week trial at Inner London Crown Court in August. He was also placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Paul Attwell of the BTP’s Major, Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “Johnston’s brazen attack in front of witnesses highlights his lack of shame or remorse for his actions, something which continued throughout his trial.

“I am thankful his violence and despicable actions have been recognised by the guilty verdicts and significant sentence. His depraved actions will have a life-long impact on the victim and those who witnessed this. I am thankful for their bravery throughout this investigation. I hope they can now find some comfort in the fact justice has been served.”

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