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Court / Man given six-year prison sentence for sex offences

A MAN has been sent to prison for six years for raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in Lerwick.

Jack Johnson, 32, had previously been found guilty of the offences after a trial in October.

The High Court in Edinburgh. Photo © Bill Henderson (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The High Court in Edinburgh heard on Thursday that Johnson now accepted he was guilty of raping the woman.

Johnson, formerly of Cramlington, Northumberland, carried out the sexual assaults on two women at addresses in Lerwick in 2017 and 2021.

The High Court had heard how Johnson raped one woman after she had been drinking and had taken drugs.

Due to her level of intoxication, she was unable to give consent. The court also heard how he molested another woman.

Johnson had denied any wrongdoing but was remanded in custody after a jury returned guilty verdicts against him.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, it emerged that Johnson now accepted he was guilty of raping the woman and was consumed by his actions and the need for him to reform.

Defence solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder said: “He beats himself up about it. The accused now accepts his guilt in relation to the charge which is quite unusual.

“He wants to apologise to the complainer because she had to give evidence.”

At earlier proceedings, the court heard the rape victim say that as well as consuming alcohol she had smoked cannabis joints and taken cocaine, but felt sick and was not stable on her feet.

She said she felt like she could not move and Johnson began assaulting her.

The court heard that the woman felt she was not able to do anything, but just wanted it to stop.

In his closing speech, prosecutor Derick Nelson told jurors: “Her head was slumped forwards and her eyes were closed and that would have been obvious to him.”

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The woman later sent messages to her attacker telling him he had raped her. She also called a friend early in the morning and told her Johnson had raped her.

The victim was found on a couch cradling herself and crying in a distressed state.

Johnson was also convicted of sexually assaulting another woman in 2017 after pinning her down.

He admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards the woman after shouting and swearing.

Johnson was acquitted of two further rape charges after the jury returned majority not proven verdicts on them.

On Thursday, Johnson observed proceedings via video link from prison as he was remanded following the trial.

He could be seen crying and holding his head in his hands as Gilfedder gave his mitigation.

Gilfedder told the court that Johnson wanted to be rehabilitated in prison and would take courses to fully understand why his behaviour was wrong.

He added: “He wants to get out a wiser man.”

Passing sentence, judge Lord Lake said: “These are serious offences to which you have been convicted of.

“I have taken into account the victim impact statement which has submitted to the court. It is clear that her suffering has continued long after the event.

“Only a significant custodial sentence is appropriate in the circumstances.”

Johnson was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

By James Mulholland of Edinburgh Courts Press Services

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