Man's 'ultimate revenge' plot to bring down his cellmate and judge

Peter Johnson, of Back Lane, Eaton, near Macclesfield.
Peter Johnson, of Back Lane, Eaton, near Macclesfield. -Credit:Cheshire Police

A man tried setting him up his former cellmate for a crime he did not commit.

Peter Johnson, of Back Lane, Eaton, near Macclesfield, appeared at Birmingham Crown Court where he had previously been found guilty of making threats to kill as well as sending malicious communications. The court heard that, when serving his sentence for stalking involving serious alarm and distress, 62-year-old Johnson became friends with a man from Newcastle-upon-Tyne who had been locked up for fraud.

Following his release, Johnson fell victim to the fraudster and lost £15,000. Rather than report the matter to police, he decided to take revenge by setting him up.

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After his initial sentencing hearing, a number of initially anonymous abusive letters were sent to the judge who had dealt with Johnson. More letters followed but Johnson signed them as coming from the fraudster to the judge as well as three prison governors.

All of the letters were littered with racist, homophobic and neo-Nazi content. Many also included threats to kill the victims.

Cheshire Police worked out that Johnson was the one behind the letters, which had been posted in the Warrington postcode area, hundreds of miles away from where the fraudster was living. When he was arrested, Johnson denied any involvement and claimed it was simply a coincidence that the letters had been posted in the area where he lived.

However, following his release, the next letter got sent in the Chester area. When officers examined ANPR data, they found that Johnson had travelled from Congleton to Chester on the day the letter was sent.

The police found that he had spent just minutes in the city, where he had been caught on CCTV posting the letter in Chester, before returning home. Traces of his DNA were recovered on some of the letters.

Regardless of all the evidence against him, Johnson chose to plead not guilty to all of the charges. Despite his denial, the jury found him guilty and Johnson was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Paul Davis, of the Cheshire Police Major Investigation Team, said: "Johnson is clearly a dangerous individual, who has a history of committing offences of this nature. During his latest period of offending, he embarked on a campaign of psychological warfare against his victims, bombarding them with letters of a racist, homophobic and neo-Nazi nature.

“In many of the letters, he even went as far as threatening to kill them, leaving them in fear for their lives. Other than the judge, most of the victims had no links to Johnson whatsoever, they were simply a side matter.

“However, with the judge, Johnson also had a personal matter that he wanted to settle, as not only had they sentenced the fraudster, but the same judge also sentenced him in 2019. During that sentencing, Johnson was not only jailed, but he was banned from ever returning to his home in Alsager.

“Through his elaborate plan, Johnson thought that he would be able to seek the ultimate revenge on his former cellmate by setting him up for a crime he did not commit, while also seeking revenge on the judge at the same time. Unlucky for him, he chose to commit his crime in Cheshire, and through our detailed investigation, we were able to gather a catalogue of damning evidence against him which resulted in a unanimous guilty verdict.”

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