Leeds ‘monster’ jailed for 24 years

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Woman subjected to years of humiliating and violent sex attacks by vile Craig Johnson is urging other victims to speak out. Tony Gardner reports.

The victim of a dangerous rapist has spoken out after watching the “monster” who subjected her to years of humiliating and violent sex attacks get jailed for 24 years.

The woman said she hoped the length of the sentence handed to Craig Johnson will encourage other victims of historic sex abuse to continue to come forward.

Rapist mocked and threatened to kill girl during catalogue of abuse

Johnson was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court after jurors heard he first targeted the victim when she was 10 years old.

She was subjected to years of physical and psychological abuse until the age of 16.

Johnson was finally brought to justice over the offences, which took place in west Leeds during the 1990s, when she found the courage to contact police two years ago.

The judge who sentenced the 38-year-old said Johnson had shown “not an ounce of remorse” for the suffering her had caused.

After the case, she told the YEP: “Although this has been a long and difficult process, the result of a conviction means that I can now start to move on with my life.

“The support from my family and Det Con Jo Huddleston has been amazing and given me the courage to see this through to the end.

“I urge anyone who has been through something similar to speak to someone; a friend, a partner, a parent, your GP or the police.

“Tonight, I will hopefully get the best sleep I’ve had in over 20 years.”

In a victim statement, read to the court by prosecutor Sophie Drake on the victim’s behalf, she said: “It has taken me a long time to find the words to express what that monster did to me. He stole my virginity from me - something that was not his to take.

“I became isolated from my friends and family. The threats made me scared to go to sleep.

“But being awake was the biggest nightmare.”

The victim also described how she turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with the trauma.

She continues to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and has panic attacks and flashbacks. She said: “I woke up every morning more tired than I was when I got in to bed. Just the thought of him being found guilty leads to tears - tears of relief.”

Jailing Johnson, Recorder John Thackray said: “You have failed to show an ounce of remorse.

“Your offences are so serious that I am satisfied that you will always pose a risk of causing future serious harm.”

Recorder Thackray also praised the victim for her bravery in giving evidence at the trial.