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Thursday 29 September 2016

No comment from Black Cats on Johnson charges

Sunderland are yet to comment on the news that winger Adam Johnson has been charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of grooming.

The 27-year-old England international was charged on yesterday after answering bail at Peterlee Police Station, and is due to appear at the County Durham town's Magistrates' Court on May 20, the day the Black Cats are due to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Johnson, a £10million signing from Manchester City, was initially suspended by the club following his arrest at his Castle Eden home in March, but later allowed to resume while the investigation continued.

The news came 48 hours ahead of the Black Cats' crucial Premier League trip to Stoke on a weekend which could see the club drop into the relegation zone unless they can add to their points tally of just 29.

Johnson, a product of Middlesbrough's academy before his big-money move to the Etihad Stadium, has made only three appearances since his arrest - all as a substitute.

It remains to be seen whether or not he will continue to be included in Dick Advocaat's squad. He was charged after Gerry Wareham, CPS Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North East, said he believed there was a realistic prospect of conviction and it was in the public interest for him to be so.

He said: "Following an investigation by Durham Police, I have today authorised police to charge Adam Johnson, aged 27, with four offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The offences are alleged to have been committed on one girl aged 15 at the time.

''May I remind all concerned that the defendant has a right to a fair trial."

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