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Cheshire man jailed after threatening to kill judge and prison governors

A man who threatened to kill a Chester Crown Court Judge and three Prisoner Governors has been jailed.

Peter Johnson appeared at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday 22 April where he was sentenced to 51 months in prison.

The 62-year-old, of Back Lane, Eaton, near Macclesfield, was previously found guilty of four counts of threats to kill and six counts of malicious communications.

During the trial at Birmingham Crown Court the jury heard how Johnson had previously served time in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of stalking involving serious alarm and distress.

Following his sentencing a number of initially anonymous abusive letters were sent to the judge who had sentenced Johnson.

While serving his sentence, he became friends with a man from Newcastle-upon-Tyne who was serving time for fraud. Following his release, Johnson fell victim to the fraudster and lost £15,000.

However, rather than report the matter to police, he decided to take revenge by setting him up.

Following the initial letters sent to the judge, Johnson decided to start sending more abusive letters to three prison governors who managed the prisons where the fraudster had served time.

He also continued to send abusive letters to the judge, who also happened to be the same judge who had also previously sentenced to fraudster. However, this time the letters were purported as being from the fraudster.

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

Johnson’s downfall came following an investigation by detectives from Cheshire Police. During their enquiries officers found that the letters had been posted in the WA postcode area, hundreds of miles away from where the fraudster was living.

When Johnson was arrested in relation to the matter, he denied any involvement and stated that it was simply a coincidence that the letters had been posted in the area where he lived. However, following his release, the next letter suddenly 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 data showed that he spent just minutes in the city before returning home. During further enquiries officers also recovered CCTV footage of him posting a letter in Chester.

Officers also discovered traces of Johnson’s DNA 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.

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.”

Pictured - Peter Johnson of Back Lane in Eaton, near Macclesfield.

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