Jail for Peterborough sex offender after police investigation into exploitation of children

A Peterborough man who smoked drugs and had sexual activity with a 12-year-old girl has been given a jail sentence.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 12:20 pm
Court news EMN-210110-174507001

Macauley Johnson, 26, befriended the girl when she was 12 until just after her 13th birthday.

The offences came to light in the spring of last year during a police investigation into the suspected exploitation of children in Dogsthorpe.

A three-month full closure order was served on Johnson’s former home in Dogsthorpe in September 2020 by the local neighbourhood policing team after concerns were raised about youths attending the address and engaging in disorderly, offensive or criminal behaviour.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It was closed to prevent any further crime at the address and to safeguard youths being potentially exploited or involved in criminality.

Investigation by detectives identified Johnson as having regular sexual communication with the girl via social media.

After building trust with the victim, she told officers how she had been in a relationship with Johnson and would go to his home to smoke cannabis, drink alcohol and engage in sexual activity.

Johnson, of Deaconscroft in Westwood, was found guilty of sexual communication with a child and sexual activity with a girl under 13 on 23 September following a seven-day trial at Huntingdon Law Court. He was acquitted on three counts of rape of a girl under 13.

On Thursday (21 October), he was sentenced to a year and ten months in prison, with time served on remand in prison since his arrest in September last year taken into account.

DC Claire Lethbridge, who investigated, said: “I would like to highlight the bravery of the victim in coming forward and also thank those involved in giving evidence and statements for their patience.

“Through the victim and her family fully supporting this investigation they have not only protected the victim from further harm but also others who may have been at risk of exploitation by Johnson.”

Johnson was also made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), with conditions including not being allowed any contact or communication, both supervised or unsupervised, with a child under 18 without consent of the child’s parent or guardian who has knowledge of his convictions, and approval from social services or a police public protection officer.

He is now on the Sex Offenders Register for the next ten years, meaning upon his release he will be closely managed and monitored by a police officer from the force’s Public Protection Unit. The team will pay unannounced visits to his home and carry out checks on his electronic devices to make sure he is complying with the full conditions of his SHPO.

Sergeant Paul Delmer, who also investigated, said: “The law was made to protect vulnerable children and, through a lot of hard work, we have been able to do just that.

“Without the determination and dedication of many officers who played a part in this investigation, Johnson would have no doubt continued with his exploitation.

“The victim is a completely different person to who I first met back in July 2020 and she has come on leaps and bounds. I hope some closure has been brought for all involved and they can now begin to put this behind them.”