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'Predatory' Woodford Green sex offender who molested two women on busy Tube trains avoids prison

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 February 2019

Central line train at Bethnal Green station. Photo: Mike Brooke

Central line train at Bethnal Green station. Photo: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

A Woodford Green sex pest who sexually assaulted two women on the Central line has avoided prison after being handed a suspended sentence.

Ian Johns, of Links Road, appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court on February 8 after admitting two charges of sexual assault at an earlier hearing.

On March 7 last year, at approximately 6pm, a woman in her thirties was on board a Central Line service travelling eastbound from Chancery Lane.

During the journey, she felt a man press his groin against her, before leaving the train at Liverpool Street.

A month later on April 18, the 45-year-old man targeted his second victim, a woman in her early 20s, on an eastbound Central Line train from Liverpool Street station.

In similar circumstances, Johns stood close to the victim, where he started to touch her below the waist inappropriately.

At court, the defendant was handed a seven-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work, a 60-day rehabilitation activity requirement, pay compensation of £2,000 to each victim, £500 costs and a £150 victim surcharge.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

Det Con Adrienne Curzon from the British Transport Police (BTP), said: “Johns is a predatory sex offender, who exploited the busy crowds on the Central Line to sexually assault two women.

“Unfortunately for him, his victims reported this to police and thanks to the extensive CCTV network we were able to identify him.

“This case is a great example of police officers working closely with victims to identify offenders, linking them to multiple cases.

“We will never tolerate this type of behaviour and work tirelessly to bring offenders before the courts.”

Siwan Hayward, director of compliance and policing at Transport for London, said: “Ian Johns actions were criminal and inexcusable.

“He targeted women and sexually assaulted them.

“As a result of the BTP’s investigation, Johns has been held accountable for his vile actions and we are pleased to see that he has been placed on the sex offenders register.

“He will need to live with the consequences of what this brings.

“We work closely with the police to eliminate unwanted sexual behaviour from our network.

“We thank the women for coming forward and reporting these incidents and helping to prevent Ian John from harming others.”

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