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'I deeply regret what I did', says paedophile Johnson

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Disgraced Adam Johnson

Disgraced Adam Johnson

PA

Disgraced Adam Johnson

Disgraced former footballer Adam Johnson has said he "deeply" regrets his actions after he was freed from prison where he served three years for child sex offences.

Johnson, who had played for England, said yesterday that he wanted to move on with his life after engaging in sexual activity with a besotted 15-year-old fan.

Johnson (31) was released from prison on March 22 after serving half of his six-year prison sentence.

He admitted two charges relating to kissing the girl and meeting her with intent after grooming her.

He was convicted by a jury of a further offence of sexual activity with a child when they met in his Range Rover in 2015, a conviction which he unsuccessfully attempted to overturn.

Remorse

In a statement yesterday, Johnson said he "would like to take this opportunity to publicly express my remorse for my actions" which "led to my conviction and imprisonment".

"I am very sorry for the effect my conduct had on those directly and indirectly involved. It should never have happened and I deeply regret what I did," he said.

"I now want to concentrate on the future and want to demonstrate through my actions that I am committed to repaying them for their support."

Asked whether the future for Johnson meant a return to football, his father Dave Johnson said "no comment".

There has been debate over whether the former Sunderland winger should be allowed to return to his career, with convictions charity Unlock saying he should not be "punished forever".

However, his route back to English football would be very hard, while his conviction will make it challenging to play abroad.