28 year old Footballer Adam Johnson who was sacked by Sunderland F.C last night arrived Bradford Crown Court accompanied by partner Stacey Flounders to defend his remaining two charges of sex involving penetration with a schoolgirl contrary to Section 9 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 of the United Kingdom for which maximum sentence is 14 years.
During the hearing today…his girlfriend, who has so far shown him support, walked out of the courtroom as the prosecuting lawyer read out love messages between Johnson & the teenage superfan
Johnson admitted to two charges of child grooming and sexual activity with a minor but denied two other charges of sexual penetration with a 15 year old girl.
At the time of the alleged incident, Johnson lived in County Durham with his girlfriend Stacey Flounders who was pregnant in December of 2014 but she walked out of the court proceeding today when the sexually intimating messages between her boyfriend and the under-age girl were read out.
The prosecuting attorney Kate Blackwell QC told the court Johnson’s alleged victim was a teenage superfan.
She said: “Her real passion was Sunderland Football Club. She was a season ticket holder and rarely missed a home game. Her favourite player was Adam Johnson.
“After matches, she would hang around waiting for a glimpse of him, wanting to get a photograph, often sporting a Sunderland shirt with Johnson’s name emblazoned across the back.”
“His is the success story many young people can only dream of”,
“What has brought the defendant to this courtroom is a sexual desire for the victim, an excessive arrogance and an unwarranted level of expectation.
“He has abused his revered position in society and, having met her, this 15-year-old girl, at Sunderland Football Club and on social media, and knowing that she looked up to him, made a conscious decision to act in a way that he knew was both morally and legally wrong.”
“This is not a case of one person’s word against another”.
“The age of consent is to protect young girls from older more sexually experienced men and to protect young girls from themselves.”
“She often waited for him after home matches, hoping to catch a glimpse of him before he drove away, keen for any contact, an autograph or, even better, a photograph.
“She had one enormous crush on him. He was her absolute hero. She idolised him.’ the prosecuting attorney continued.
She said the victim’s Facebook profile picture was a photograph of the victim wearing her Sunderland jersey with Adam Johnson’s arm around her.
According to Kate Blackwell, when she first contacted him on facebook and they started chatting,the footballer told her to delete the contact and chats between them ,but the girl was just so delighted to be chatting with the footballer that she even showed her messages to her friends.
The pair began to exchange messages on Whatsapp and the prosecution says that the defendant was made aware that the victim was 15, with almost another year to wait until she became 16,but he couldn’t wait for her..
The footballer asked her: “You in the last year of school?”
She replied: “Year 10”.
When discussing New Year’s Eve plans on December 31 the teenager told him she was going to a family party, the court hears.
“Are you allowed to drink?”, Johnson asked.
He also asked the 15-year-old: “Where do you go out?”
She said: “I am not old enough to go out haha.”
Johnson replied: “You look old enough though.”
The teenager told him: “No one believes I am just 15.” He asked her when her birthday was.
The girl even wished him congratulations on the birth of his baby with partner Stacy .
“I love the name it’s so cute”, she told him.
Johnson asked: “Are you going to be forward with me?”
“I’m not shy”, the teenager replied.
The teenager messaged Johnson to say she was drinking vodka, Ms Blackwell tells the court.
“It takes away the nerves of meeting people at the party”, she said.
Johnson replied: “I thought you meant something else.”
The girl asked: “What?”
Johnson: “You know what or do you need me to show you?”
The girl asked again: “What?”
Johnson: “You won’t say that when I see you.”
Following the pair’s 20-minute meet-up at a secluded car park in County Durham, Johnson and the girl again exchanged messages, the court hears.
Johnson said: “Thought I would have got a thank you kiss for the shirt.”
Girl: “Didn’t ask.”
Johnson: “Well I’ll come get one.”
Johnson: “If you want me to.”
Johnson: “Am I only getting a kiss?”
Girl: “Depends what you’re asking for.”
Johnson: “Depends what you’re up for – a little bit more than kissing. A bit of feeling.”
Johnson messaged the girl: “It was class – just wanted to get your jeans off.”
It was at this point that Adam Johnson’s girlfriend walked out of the courtroom as she was getting pissed off by the explicit messages.
Ms Blackwell,the prosecuting attorney says when the schoolgirl was in the car with Johnson she took a snapchat video of the conversation to prove to her friends she was there.
Johnson asked the teen for a kiss before putting his hand down her jeans and then moved the car to a more secluded spot where he told the girl to perform a sex act on him.The Court is told.
Johnson set up a new Snapchat account to stay in touch with the teenager.
During a message exchange, Johnson asked the girl: “Any chance of a rude one?”
She replied: “Maybe”
He then wrote: “Ha, well I will be waiting patiently, lol”
The Prosecutor says after Johnson was arrested, his phone was searched.
Police found the footballer had searched the “legal age of consent” online and viewed articles around the subject,the court heard.
“By February, there was significant conversation going on and it would seem the defendant was keen to check the age of consent and searched ‘legal age of consent’ on February 3.”
The prosecution allege that this was not because of his worry over what he had done but his intention to go even further with the teenager.
The police have warned the public not to in anyway either through social media or otherwise reveal the identity of the girl involved in the case and that who ever is found guilty will be severely punished.