England and Sunderland star Adam Johnson 'abused revered position with girl fan'

Updated: 
England International Adam Johnson on Trial on Sexual Offence Charges

England footballer Adam Johnson "abused his revered position in society" when he had sexual contact with a 15-year-old fan "in a way that he knew was both morally and legally wrong", prosecutors have said.

The 28-year-old former Sunderland winger went on trial today accused of sexual activity with a child - a teenage girl who said Johnson was her favourite player.

Opening Johnson's trial, prosecutor Kate Blackwell QC said: "It is the crown's case that what has brought the defendant to this courtroom is a sexual desire for (the girl), an excessive arrogance and an unwarranted level of expectation.

"He has abused his revered position in society and, having met (her), this 15-year-old girl, at Sunderland Football Club and later on social media, and knowing that she looked up to him, made a conscious decision to act in a way that he knew was both morally and legally wrong."

Miss Blackwell told Bradford Crown Court that Johnson played for his country "wearing the England shirt with pride".

She said: "His is the success story that many young people can only dream of."

The prosecutor said the girl involved was 15 in December 2014, a time when Johnson lived with his partner, Stacey Flounders, who was then pregnant with their daughter, in Castle Eden, County Durham.

Miss Blackwell said: "Her (the girl's) real passion was Sunderland Football Club.

"She was a season ticket holder and rarely missed a home game and her favourite player was Adam Johnson.

"After matches, she would hang around waiting for a glimpse of him, wanting to get a photograph, often sporting a Sunderland shirt with Johnson's name emblazoned across the back."