Footballer Adam Johnson jailed for six years for sexual activity with girl, 15


Former England footballer Adam Johnson has been jailed for six years for engaging in sexual activity with a besotted 15-year-old fan by a judge who said the girl had suffered "severe psychological harm".

Johnson, 28, showed no emotion as he stood in the dock at Bradford Crown Court for the sentence.

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".

Johnson looked straight ahead 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.

The packed courtroom listened in silence as Judge Rose repeated how Johnson had kissed and sexually touched the girl in his Range Rover, in a secluded spot in County Durham, on January 30 last year.

The judge told the player the offences happened "at a time when you were engaged in frequent sexual intercourse with multiple partners".

And he outlined how various medical professionals had agreed he suffered from "compulsive sexual behaviour".

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 to him: "When you had moved to play for Manchester City you embarked on an extensive social life which involved sexual activity on a very frequent basis with a number of different partners, even when you were ostensibly in a settled relationship.

"You do not suffer from any mental illness but are described as having a very high libido and a tendency to engage in sexual activity to a compulsive degree."

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.

Judge Rose outlined how Johnson's offending happened when he met the girl for a second time after exchanging hundreds of social media messages with her.

The first time they met he gave her a signed football shirt and, when they met again, he asked for his "thank you kiss".

Johnson admitted kissing the girl but denied the girl's claim that he touched her inside her pants and how she then performed oral sex on him.

A jury found him guilty of sexual activity with a child in relation to "digital penetration" but cleared him of the same offence relating to the oral sex.

He had already admitted another charge of sexual activity with a child in relation to kissing and also of grooming the girl.

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."

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.

The judge said Johnson must pay £50,000 of the prosecution's £67,132 costs.