Colchester: Victims praised for coming forward as sex offender is jailed for 24 years
Main article content
Specialist officers have praised the courage of five men for coming forward to seek justice against the sexual offender who abused them as children.
Essex Police, alongside colleagues Humberside Police and Kent Police, secured 21 charges against 65-year-old Phillip Johnson after a thorough investigation into his historic sexual offending.
Johnson denied 13 counts of sexual assault against children, including attempted buggery, and a further 8 counts of making indecent images of children.
Following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, he was convicted on all counts on 27 July.
Appearing at the same court for sentence on Wednesday 30 August, he was sentenced to a total of 24 years’ imprisonment.
The judge deemed him to be a dangerous offender and ordered him to serve a minimum of 15 years before parole can be considered.
He will be subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Campaign of sexual abuse
Johnson started his campaign of abuse in the late 1980s when he sexually assaulted two young boys, aged between six and eight at the time of the offences, at an address in Kent.
This abuse continued for a period of two years on multiple occasions.
The victims disclosed that the abuse stopped in the late 1980s, when Johnson left their lives for a period of time, but resumed when they reached 15/16 years of age.
Johnson moved to the Humberside area around 2008, where he befriended and groomed a teenage child, before later sexually assaulting him.
This victim struggled with what happened, not telling anyone for 10 years before finding the courage to report the matter to the police.
Finally, Johnson moved to the Colchester area, where he again groomed two males.
Again, he sexually assaulted both of these males, one keeping it a secret for a year until a disclosure from the second boy prompted him to come forward.
Arrest and investigation followed
This was reported to us and Johnson was arrested on the 7 August 2018, when the investigation began and the scale of his 30-year offending campaign became known.
At the time of his arrest, Johnson was living in Colchester, and when interviewed he denied any wrongdoing.
Devices were seized and during the course of the investigation approximately 2000 indecent images of children were found, including a number of the most serious Category A images of serious child sexual abuse.
Speaking after sentencing, investigating officer Detective Constable Lucy Percival, from Colchester CID, said:
“I want to praise the courage shown by the victims in this case, who experienced a traumatic childhood due to Phillip Johnson’s actions towards them. “The victims, now men, showed huge bravery and determination to see this process through to seek a degree of justice for what happened to them. “Most importantly, each of their sentiments separately was to prevent this from happening to anyone else. “There is no doubt, Johnson is a dangerous individual who showed a concerted effort to identify vulnerable children, groom them and then ultimately to sexually abuse them. “His actions were horrific, but I am pleased he has now been held accountable for those actions which in turn will hopefully allow the victims to move forward.”
If you or anyone you know has been victim of a sexual crime, please report it.
Synergy Essex provides support and guidance for survivors of sexual and sexual abuse across Essex.
The Essex Rape Crisis Partnership is formed of three organisations:
CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) who cover mid and north Essex.
SERICC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service) who cover South and West Essex.
SOS Rape Crisis who cover Southend, Castle Point and Rochford.
Survivors can self-refer and receive emotional support, specialist sexual violence and abuse counselling and or specialist advocacy services, no matter when the sexual violence or abuse occurred. In addition to this, they also offer support to survivor’s loved ones.