‘Hero’ London Bridge survivor had fantasies about raping Madeleine McCann
A man who saved a cyclist’s life in a suspected terror attack has been unmasked as a paedophile who wrote sick fantasies about raping Madeleine McCann and Alesha MacPhail.
John Lennon, 48, from Devon, has been locked up after he was caught sending child rape videos and boasting about having sex with toddlers to undercover police officers on the dark web.
He survived the London Bridge terror incident in 2017 and hit the headlines a year later when he jumped into a moving van that was dragging a cyclist along the road in Bristol in what he feared was another attack.
A court heard how the supposed hero was in fact a ‘depraved’ paedophile who shared almost 30 videos and pictures of child abuse and wrote horrific messages about missing toddler Madeline McCann.
The former army vet described fantasising about the four-year-old’s rape to undercover police and said he loved reading reports about six-year-old Alesha Macphail, who was abducted, raped and murdered two years ago.
He said he would ‘love to snatch a girl from her bedroom’ and described his preferred age as being from a few months to two years old.
When police searched his home they discovered a bag full of children’s clothing.
Judge Timothy Rose jailed Lennon for five years after he admitted three counts of making and three of distributing indecent images of children.
He described Lennon as depraved and said some of the images he shared showed children in ‘discernible pain and distress’.
Lennon will be put on the sex offenders register for life and will be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.
Mr Joss Ticehurst, defending, said Lennon has sought counseling over his behaviour, which he blamed on an abusive childhood and post traumatic stress disorder from his time in the army, Bristol Live reports.
He said his client had contributed to society by running his own businesses and had helped to save the life of a cyclist who was injured in an accident in Bristol two years ago
In August 2018, Lennon was hailed a hero by multiple witnesses for his actions when a van driver lost control of his vehicle, causing him to hit and then drag a deliveroo rider under the wheels for around 40 yards
Lennon jumped into the moving van, fought off the driver and managed to bring the vehicle to a stop before it reached a crowd of people.
His fall from grace began that year, when he was caught attempting to groom a nine-year-old and distributing child rape images.
He was ordered to attend a sex offenders treatment course but continued to exchange his perverted fantasies while pretending to be reformed.