Adam Johnson has been sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of child grooming and sexual activity with an underage girl.
At the start of his trial, Johnson pleaded guilty to child grooming and one count of sexual activity. However, he denied two further counts of sexual activity – involving penetration – with a child.
A jury found the 28-year-old former England international guilty of sexual touching, but cleared him of one charge relating to another sexual act following his trial at Bradford Crown Court.
During Johnson’s sentencing, Judge Jonathan Rose said:
You lied, you had every opportunity to enter guilty pleas but chose not to. The consequences of that, your victim was called a liar, by peers, by football fans. You have no remorse because you still deny the most serious offence. Your future as a footballer must be in doubt.
The judge added that Johnson’s crimes were the most serious of their type, with his offences at category 1A. He says: “There is an abuse of trust, you are trusted by young fans to behave properly”.
Prosecutor Kate Blackwell QC told the sentencing hearing there was a ‘significant disparity’ in age between the footballer and the girl.
She said: “The most apparent feature in the view of the Crown is the severe psychological harm that the defendant has caused to the victim.”
A statement from Detective Inspector Aelfwynn Sampson, from Durham Constabulary, said:
This is a carefully considered and significant sentence which sends out a clear message. Fame, celebrity and a position of power does not give you the right to break the law in pursuit of whatever you desire. Members of the public are clearly entitled to express their opinions but the law remains clear and Adam Johnson broke it.