Home | Breaking News | Paedo Adam Johnson jailed for six years for grooming and sexual activity
File photo dated 27-08-2014 of Sunderland's Adam Johnson. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday April 24, 2015. Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat will leave it to Adam Johnson to decide if he is mentally ready to play a part in Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Stoke at the Britannia Stadium. See PA story SOCCER Sunderland. Photo credit should read Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

Paedo Adam Johnson jailed for six years for grooming and sexual activity

WT24 Desk

Former England footballer Adam Johnson has been jailed for six years for sexual activity and grooming a teenage fan.Judge Jonathan Rose told Johnson: “You found her sexually attractive and you wanted some sexual intimacy with her. “If the only object was for you to give her a signed shirt there was no reason for secrecy.”

“I must conclude these initial exchanges were all part of grooming.” He added: “You hoped you would get away with it because you thought you could rely on her to tell no one.” The 28-year-old was ordered to sign Sex Offences Register for life.  The judge also imposed a restraining order preventing Johnson from contacting his victim and ordered him to pay £50,000 costs

Johnson had been convicted of one offence of sexual activity with a child but cleared of another following a two week trial at Bradford Crown Court.  He had already admitted grooming the 15-year-old schoolgirl and kissing her in a sexual manner.  Johnson had used social media to groom the girl after she contacted him on Facebook on New Year’s Eve 2014.

The charges against Johnson arose from a meeting between him and the girl in his car in County Durham on January 30 last year.  He groomed the girl by giving her gifts of signed football shirts and sent her explicit messages.  The footballer admitted he found the girl attractive but insisted he had only kissed her after giving in to stupidity.

The former England international, was sacked by Sunderland last month following his guilty pleas. The court heard he slept with various girls everytime he left training. Johnson told his Priory therapist his victim was “just another girl, another opportunity” and he put age “out of his mind”.  In a statement, his victim says she has been “bullied”.

“What happened a year ago has completely changed my life,” she said.  “Hopefully justice will be done and I can move on with my life.”  Her mother says since the incident she has been targeted by thousands on internet trolls.  “Through social media my daughter had thousands of malicious remarks and threats of violence towards her,” she said.

She said she stands by the decision to report it to the police to protect other young girls.  “Adam Johnson was in a position of trust with hundreds of other idolising young fans who could have been victims themselves,” she added.  Johnson’s girlfriend Stacey Flounders initially vowed to stand by Johnson, but giving evidence during the case, revealed that they had now split up.

Earlier Johnson’s sister Faye posted on Facebook that he’d always be her “hero”.  She said she would not be attending his sentence and would instead remain at home with Ms Flounders because “I just don’t want him to see the pain in my eyes”.  Ms Johnson said: “Today is the sentencing for my brother, the worst day of my life.

“I just wanted to let all of the supporters know that I will not be attending Bradford Crown Court, the reason for this is Adam has always been my hero, my brother and my best friend, I just don’t want him to see the pain in my eyes!  “Instead I will be at home with my little boy, Adam’s number 1 fan, Adam’s daughter and the mother of his child Stacey.

“I remain proud of my big brother and I am 100 per cent behind him and I always will be.”

Johnson ‘stripped of his England caps’

Johnson’s barrister Orlando Pownall QC says it’s not an “aggravating” feature that he continue to play for Sunderland instead of resigning.  The lawyer also revealed that the footballer has been “stripped of his England caps” as a result of his offences.

Victim was ‘just another girl, another opportunity’

Adam Johnson’s “use of gifts” of football shirts to victim and his bid to destroy evidence by deleting texts raises culpability, the court heard. Prosecutor Ms Blackwell QC said: “He tried to destroy messages, repeatedly asked the victim to do the same, this was in part because he knew the fact she was under 16.”

Adam Johnson told a therapist his victim was “just another girl, another opportunity” and he put age “out of his mind”, court hears Miss Blackwell said a medical report concluded Johnson “believes he has a right to sex”. She said the same report writer said that he believed his actions did not constitute an offence as he thought of the victim as a young woman not a child.

The prosecutor said he told one medic: “I treated her like any other girl I meet.”  Miss Blackwell said one report concluded Johnson has “a compulsive drive to have new sexual experiences”.  Miss Blackwell said the prosecution believed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order should be imposed.

She said: “There is a need to protect teenagers and those in the position of (the girl) from sexual harm.”

Victim ‘bullied’ on social media

In a statement, his victim says she has been “bullied”. “What happened a year ago has completely changed my life,” she said. “Hopefully justice will be done and I can move on from this.”    She was approached by strangers in the street and bombarded by abuse on social media.

The statement added that she had even “felt at risk” going out.  It said that because Johnson had protested his innocence she “felt very intimidated by it all and felt very lonely. I have entered many dark places over this 12-month period and at times wanted to just shut the whole world out”.

Victim’s mother: He was in a position of trust

Neither his victim or her family attended court.  In a statement read to the court, her mother said: “Through social media my daughter had thousands of malicious remarks and threats of violence towards her.”  She said she stands by the decision to report it to the police to protect other young girls.

“Adam Johnson was in a position of trust with hundreds of other idolising young fans who could have been victims themselves,” she added.

‘He was all but twice her age’

Prosecutor Kate Blackwell QC said he had no previous convictions and prior to the current prosecution had been a “man of good character”.  Miss Blackwell told the court that there was a “significant disparity” in age between the defendant and the victim.

She said: “At the time of the commission of these offences, (the victim) was one month after her 15th birthday and the defendant was 27. He was all but twice her age, 13 years older. The Crown say it amounts to a significant disparity of ages between the two.”

She added: “The most apparent feature in the view of the Crown is the severe psychological harm that the defendant has caused to the victim.”

Johnson appears in the dock

Johnson walked into court chewing gum and wearing a blue suit, white shirt and a blue tie. He walked quickly into the dock, adjusting the top button on his shirt. Members of his family sat on the front seat of the public gallery.

He sat in dock with one security guard. In the dock, Johnson spoke to confirm his name.

Johnson launches appeal

Johnson’s lawyer Orlando Pownall confirmed before the sentencing the footballer has lodged an appeal against his conviction for sexual activity with a child involving penetration.

Footballer’s sister and ex not in court

Earlier his sister said she would not be in court because “I just don’t want him to see the pain in my eyes”. She said Johnson’s former partner and the mother of his one-year-old daughter, Stacey Flounders, will also not be at the hearing.  In a Facebook post, Ms Johnson said: “Today is the sentencing for my brother, the worst day of my life.

“I just wanted to let all of the supporters know that I will not be attending Bradford Crown Court, the reason for this is Adam has always been my hero, my brother and my best friend, I just don’t want him to see the pain in my eyes! “Instead I will be at home with my little boy, Adam’s number 1 fan, Adam’s daughter and the mother of his child Stacey.

“I remain proud of my big brother and I am 100 per cent behind him and I always will be.”  The player had already admitted another count of the same offence and also grooming the girl, who idolised him.  Judge Jonathan Rose made the jail warning after granting Johnson bail, telling him: “You can  say goodbye to your daughter. A prison sentence will mean you will not see her for some time.”

Judge Rose told the player – who earned £60,000 a week with Sunderland – his preliminary view was that the case falls into the category of a five-year prison sentence with a possible range of four to 10 years.  All the charges relate to an incident in Johnson’s Range Rover when he met up with the girl in County Durham on January 30 last year.

The jury heard how Johnson began exchanging hundreds of messages with the girl on social media at New Year 2015. He eventually agreed to meet her to sign football shirts, The Telegraph reports.

profile

Adam Johnson

 Born: 1987

From: Sunderland. Grew up in Easington, County Durham
Position: Winger

Rise and fall

1999: Talent spotted as a child and admitted to Middlesborough’s youth academy at the age of 12
2005: Made his senior debut at 17 in a Uefa Cup game
2010: Signed to Manchester City for an undisclosed fee
2010: Made his England debut in a World Cup warm-up match against Mexico at Wembley. Scored his first international goal in England’s 4-0 victory over Bulgaria in a Euro 2012 qualifier
2012:  Signed to Sunderland, the club he supported as a boy, for £10m
2014: Teenage fan makes contact with him on New Year’s Eve via Facebook. He responds by sending his mobile phone number
2015: Spends weeks grooming the 15-year-old girl with more than 800 messages eventually arranging to meet her
2015: Johnson kisses the girl in his car but claims things went no further
2015: The girl goes to police alleging Johnson digitally penetrated her and she performed oral sex on him. He is arrested and charged
2016: Johnson goes on trial charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming
2016: He is sacked by Sunderland after pleading guilty to two of the charges
2016: Johnson is found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child but is cleared on a second count

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