July 2023

‘Pure evil’ York rapist and paedophile jailed for horrific catalogue of abuse

A rapist described as “pure evil” has been jailed for 23 years for the horrific sexual abuse of his two female victims.

Michael Johnson, 64, a former self-employed security officer in York, was convicted of 21 sexual offences against a girl and a woman in the 1980s and 90s, including rape, attempted rape, indecent assault and indecency with a child.

Johnson, lately of Selby but who was living in York at the time, admitted seven charges but denied the rest.

He was convicted of the 14 remaining charges following a trial at York Crown Court in May.

The majority of the offences were against a girl whom Johnson twice tried to rape.

Three of the offences, including two counts of rape and indecent assault, were against an adult victim in separate incidents. 

He appeared for sentence today when judge Simon Hickey described his catalogue of offending as “horrific” and handed down what could effectively be a life sentence given Johnson’s age.

During the trial, arrogant Johnson appeared implacable as he faced cross-examination from prosecuting barrister David Hall. 

Johnson, who used to run his own security company, vehemently denied raping the woman and sexually abusing the girl, neither of whom can be named for legal reasons.

The court heard that Johnson sexually assaulted the girl on numerous occasions and performed lewd acts in front of her. The girl was very young when the abuse began.

One of the prosecution witnesses described Johnson as “pure evil”.

Some of Johnson’s offences were originally reported in the late 1990s, but Johnson manipulated the victim and her family and the complaint was withdrawn.

In 2020, the victim made a further complaint to North Yorkshire Police, resulting in Johnson being charged.

Johnson, of Hill Top, Barlby, had 11 previous convictions for 17 offences including burglary and other acquisitive crime when he was a juvenile. He also had a previous conviction for indecently assaulting a girl when he himself was a youth. 

Judge Mr Hickey said that Johnson had caused the victims a “great deal of distress and pain” and the effect on them had been “drastic”.

He jailed Johnson for 23 years and told him he wouldn’t be released from jail at the standard halfway point. Instead, the Parole Board would decide when he could be released.

Johnson, who remained stony-faced as the judge passed down sentence, was ordered to sign on the sex-offenders’ register for life.