herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Football star Johnson is jailed for six years for child sex crime

Adam Johnson outside court (PA)
Adam Johnson outside court (PA)

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.

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".

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: "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.

Messages

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 must pay £50,000 of the prosecution's £67,132 costs.

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