24 March 2016
Former England footballer Adam Johnson sentenced for sexual activity with a child
Former England footballer, Adam Johnson, has been sentenced to six years for grooming and sexual activity with a child.
Judge Jonathan Rose told the court that Adam Johnson had no remorse and that his actions were deliberate, deeming his crimes fit into “Category A” type of offending.
The winger, who earned £60,000 a week playing for Sunderland FC, initially proclaimed his innocence, making his guilty pleas when he was found guilty of one of the two charges of sexual activity with a child.
This morning, Johnson ran into Bradford Crown Court where he was warned by Judge Rose to expect a “substantial prison sentence” ahead of today’s verdict.
Earlier this month a jury found the 28-year-old guilty of one of two charges, relating to a meeting between Johnson and the victim in County Durham on 30 January 2015. The court heard how the incident began with hundreds of text messages, leading to their meeting when the sexual activity took place.
The victim said: “It has had and continues to have a massive impact on my life. My schoolwork has suffered and I’ve been bullied at school. I have felt very intimidated and lonely at times because Adam Johnson refused to admit his guilt.
The victim’s counsellor was quoted saying that the victim “has suffered anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts” and continues to be bullied since the trial.
Richard Scorer, specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: “This sentence reflects the magnitude of what Johnson has done in targeting a vulnerable child for his own sexual desires.
“His behaviour fits the pattern of abuse we have seen from powerful men in the past who use their celebrity and wealth to groom, exploit and assault innocent young girls.
“I hope the sentence today deters other abusers who think they can use their power and celebrity to destroy young lives.
“While he will serve his time and be able to rebuild his life, his victim may well never get over what he has put her through.”
Adam Johnson must pay £50,000 in prosecution costs.