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Sunday 20 August 2017

Arrogant, spoilt star who shared €2.3m mansion with long-suffering pregnant partner he cheated on

Stacey Flounders arrives at court (PA)
Stacey Flounders arrives at court (PA)
The €2.3m home the couple shared in Devon

Adam Johnson has been portrayed in court as the epitome of the top-flight footballer stereotype - arrogant, spoilt and philandering.

Johnson's own QC told jurors they may well agree with the prosecution's portrayal of his client as "immature, arrogant, promiscuous" and that "the only time he had to fend for himself was on the football field cheered on by thousands of adoring fans".

Talk of his €77,000-a- week wage packet, luxury cars with personalised plates and his €2.3m, six-bedroom mansion only added to this image.

But it was the "promiscuous" part of this characterisation which led to Johnson's downfall.

Stacey Flounders - until recently Johnson's partner and the mother-of-his one-year-old daughter, Ayla - talked about the "other women" when she gave evidence in the trial.

Miss Flounders (26) explained to the jury how the player had confessed to cheating on her after he was arrested. She said he would not tell her how many women there had been, but he said it was "quite a few". She also suspected he was unfaithful during her pregnancy.

Manipulated

Johnson admitted his cheating, telling the jury how his relationship was in bad state in January last year because he had been messaging other women.

Kate Blackwell QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "He cheated on his girlfriend and lied and manipulated her in a way which demonstrates his duplicity."

Miss Flounders appeared to be standing by her man, accompanying him to court for most of the trial. But, when she took to the witness box, she told the court they were "just going to remain friends".

Johnson was already an England international when he met Miss Flounders in 2011. She said they were introduced by her cousin and moved into Johnson's home in Castle Eden, County Durham, in 2013 - a nearly-new mansion he bought not far from where he grew up.

Born in Sunderland in July 1987, Johnson was brought up in the village of Easington. His talent on the pitch was spotted at an early age. Father Dave and mother Sonia supported his development.

Middlesbrough took him into their famed academy at the age of 12 and nurtured him, despite his small size.

Johnson made his senior debut as a 17-year-old substitute in Boro's 1-0 Uefa Cup defeat by Sporting Lisbon in Portugal on March 17, 2005 and went on to represent the club on 120 occasions before winning a £7m move to Manchester City in 2010.

Frustrated

He won the league and FA Cup, as well as the first of his 12 England caps, during a two-and-a-half-year stay. But manager Roberto Mancini grew frustrated with his inconsistency and attitude in the 2011-12 season and his time was up.

Sunderland owner Ellis Short gave then-manager Martin O'Neill the go-ahead to sign him in a £10m swoop in August 2012.

He made 141 appearances, with 28 of them after his return from a suspension imposed after his arrest.

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