The former England footballer, 28, showed no emotion as he was handed a hefty prison sentence
Former Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.
Since the judge delivered his ruling, we are now able to report Johnson was arrested last year on suspicion of possessing extreme animal pornography.
Officers also found Johnson had visited a website called ‘Nice Young Teens’ which featured pornographic images but was not illegal.
Medicine to treat STIs was found at his home.
Johnson entered court this morning at a run – and left tonight in a prison van.
The 28-year-old showed no emotion as he stood in the dock at Bradford Crown Court for the sentence and did not glance at his parents, Sonia and Dave, who also showed no emotion as they sat listening in the front row of the public gallery.
Judge Jonathan Rose told the former Sunderland and Manchester City winger that he took advantage of “a young teenager’s adoration of a successful celebrity”.
According to the judge, Johnson told a psychiatrist: “I treated (the teenager) like any of the girls I met.“I put her age out of my mind. I was sexually interested but she was just another girl, another opportunity. She was attractive enough. Another one to get with.”
The judge said Johnson, who ran past photographers into the court building but sauntered into the dock chewing gum, will need treatment for his sexual problems.
The judge said Johnson had lied repeatedly, referring as he did so to the controversy over whether he delayed his guilty pleas to enable him to continue his £60,000-a-week career with Sunderland.
The judge said: “You lied about the nature and extent of your contact with her and you lied then and throughout the months which followed about the level of your sexual activity with her.
“You had every opportunity to enter guilty pleas to the matters you finally admitted to the court but you chose not to do so, and one consequence of that is that (the girl) was regarded as a liar, by her peers and by the football supporters who would chant abuse about her.
“Little wonder that by the time of this trial she had, in her words, endured a year of abuse, of being called a liar and other more graphic insults, and was deeply upset by what you had done to her and by her treatment, such that she required counselling and such that she reached the lowest ebb after she gave evidence.”
The prosecutor had earlier slammed “those closest” to Johnson for encouraging trollsto name his victim.
He added: “She speaks of entering many dark places in that year and said she had suffered bullying and stress and had underachieved at school as a result of the case.”
The judge said: “I am satisfied that (the girl) has suffered severe psychological harm and have no doubt that I should take this into account.”
She had suffered sadness, anger and confusion which had been “exasperated” because of the footballer’s status and standing, he said.
Johnson was sentenced to six years and ordered to pay £50,000 of the prosecution’s £67,132 costs.
Earlier, Johnson’s lawyer lodged an appeal against his conviction for sexual activity with a child involving penetration.
‘Sunderland Football Club was wrong to allow Johnson to return to its team and highlighted a perverse sense of priorities at the top level of the club.’
Sunderland sources have indicated that Johnson acted individually and that they will not be changing their education programmes.
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said on BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘We have a system of education and a system of deterrents, but this of course is a different matter as it’s about children. From that point of view it has to be taken very seriously.
‘That’s why ourselves, the FA, the Football League, the Premier League have got to reinforce what is in place and make sure that this doesn’t happen again. I feel the prospect (of him playing again) is, to say the least, very remote.’