A dangerous predator who raped a young woman on a London Underground has been jailed.
Ryan Johnston, 37, launched a "vile and terrifying" attack on his victim as she returned home from a night out with friends in February 2020.
Johnston was sentenced having pleaded not guilty to five charges including one count of rape, one count of attempted rape, two counts of sexual assault, and one count of outraging public decency at Inner London Crown Court earlier this year.
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The chief crown prosecutor in the case called Johnston "depraved" saying he sexually assaulted the 20-year-old stranger and then raped her in view of other passengers – including a young child. A jury found him guilty following a two-week trial at the court.
Johnston had also masturbated in front of two women in the early hours of that morning. They noticed a man stood outside a house with his trousers round his ankles, looking through the window and pleasuring himself. Feeling scared, the women ran away, and Johnston then began shouting and chased them down the street to their home.
They managed to safely get inside and hide under a stairwell while Johnston banged on their door and put his hand through the letterbox before eventually leaving. Three hours later, Johnston boarded a Piccadilly Line train at Heathrow Terminal Five.
He walked confidently through the carriage and approached a young woman who was asleep. He sexually assaulted her and then raped her as she sat unconscious.
A tourist and his young son reported what they had seen to police later that morning. The incident was not captured on CCTV and despite extensive enquiries, officers were initially unable to identify the victim or any other report made to police.
Two years later, following a British Transport Police (BTP) review of historic rape cases, Johnston was identified and he was arrested at HMP Brixton in December 2022 where he was serving time for burglary. Further enquiries led to detectives identifying the victim in the same month, who hadn’t realised the extent of what had happened to her.
The attack was "vile and terrifying" said Cagin Husnu, senior crown prosecutor for CPS West Midlands, who said of the sentence: “It’s clear the defendant posed an enormous risk to the public, and we are pleased that today’s result will see him spend a significant period of time in prison."
Siobhan Blake, chief crown prosecutor and rape and serious sexual offences lead, said: “Women should be free to enjoy a night out without fear of sexual assault or rape. The actions of depraved men like Johnston, highlight the fact that there can be no let up in our fight against the perpetrators of sexual violence."
Senior investigating officer, detective inspector Paul Attwell of 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.”
Johnston was handed a nine-year sentence yesterday (Friday, December 8), with a further five on licence, at Inner London Crown Court. He was also handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and a life-long signature on the Sex Offenders Register.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website,
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