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‘Depraved’ sex offender raped woman while she was unconscious on the Piccadilly Line

Ryan Johnston attacked a sleeping woman on the tube in front of other passengers (British Transport Police)
Ryan Johnston attacked a sleeping woman on the tube in front of other passengers (British Transport Police)

A “depraved” sex offender has been jailed for raping a woman while she was sleeping on the Tube on her way back from a night out.

Ryan Johnston, 37, attacked a 20-year-old woman on the Piccadilly Line in front of other passengers, including a tourist and his young son.

The incident happened in February 2020 just three hours after Johnston performed a sex act in front of two women and chased them home in Bounds Green, north London at 5am. The women noticed the man stood outside a house with his trousers round his ankles, looking through the window and masturbating.

Feeling scared, the women ran away, and Johnston then began shouting and chased them down the street to their home, the British Transport Police said.

Johnston banged on their door and forced his hand through their letterbox while they hid under a stairwell until he left. Several hours later, he then boarded a Piccadilly Line train at Heathrow Terminal Five.

Johnston attacked a sleeping woman on a Picadilly Line train (stock image) (AFP via Getty Images)
Johnston attacked a sleeping woman on a Picadilly Line train (stock image) (AFP via Getty Images)

Johnston walked through the carriage to a young woman who was coming home from a night out with friends and was asleep. He sexually assaulted her and then raped her as she sat unconscious, BTP said. A tourist witnessed the offence while travelling in the same carriage with his 11-year-old son and reported the attack later that morning.

The incident was not captured on CCTV and despite extensive enquiries, officers were unable to identify the victim or any other report made to police.

Two years later, following a BTP review of historic rape cases, Johnston was identified, and he was arrested at HMP Brixton in December 2022 where he was serving time for burglary.

Johnston was charged with rape, attempted rape and two counts of sexual assault. He was also charged with outraging public decency in relation to another complainant.

Johnston had pleaded not guilty to all five charges, but was convicted after a jury found him guilty following a two-week trial at Inner London Crown Court earlier this year.

He was sentenced on Friday at Inner London Crown Court for nine years imprisonment and was also handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and a life-long signature on the Sex Offenders Register.

Siobhan Blake, Chief Crown Prosecutor and Rape and Serious Sexual Offences lead, said: “Women should be free to enjoy a night out without fear of sexual assault or rape. The actions of depraved men like Johnston, highlight the fact that there can be no let up in our fight against the perpetrators of sexual violence.”

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Kathrine Spencer said Jonston’s sentencing has sent a “strong message to survivors”.

“The offences committed by Ryan Johnston show him to be a dangerous individual who viewed women with contempt,” she said. “He was simply concerned with his own sexual gratification at any cost. I hope this sends out a strong message to survivors of these offences that we will do all we can to bring offenders to justice to make society a safer place.”