The Bradford Crown Court judge in the trial of England and ex-Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson is currently summarizing facts from prosecutors and the defense. The footballer is accused of two counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.
The girl was a “massive, massive Sunderland fan” who was infatuated with Johnson.
The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of grooming and sexual activity with a child, involving kissing, on the first day the case was listed for trial.
Judge Jonathan Rose told the jury that “In February last year, a 15-year-old girl told police that she had met and had intimate relations with the defendant, a professional footballer with Sunderland Football Club.”
She said: “I got a message from Sunderland player Adam Johnson who I’d idolised for quite a while.”
The girl said that, after exchanging messages, she first met up with Johnson on January 17 last year when he signed two Sunderland shirts for her.
She then explained how the player continued to message her, talking about getting a “thank you kiss”.
“I was well up for it. It was a surreal type of thing,” she told the police officer. “I met up with him again. I gave him his thank you kiss and more,” she added.
In her evidence to Bradford Crown Court via video-link, the girl told the court she had lied to police about the extent of her sexual encounters with footballer Adam Johnson to “protect” her idol.
The jurors had to decide whether Johnson digitally penetrated the girl and engaged in oral sex.
After meeting at the football club, the pair exchanged phone numbers and sent and received 834 WhatsApp messages in little more than a month, the court has heard.
Johnson met the girl in his black Range Rover on January 17 last year and signed two Sunderland shirts for her.
The footballer admits kissing her during a second meeting on January 30 but denies that any further sexual activity took place.
The girl said, “It was bad enough already,” She told a police officer how she told her father about what happened because “I was getting upset”.
“I don’t like hiding things from my mum and dad,” she said.
Judge Rose told the jury that the defence’s case is that the girl is a “proven liar who has made up the other allegations”.
He said: “It is quite clear, say the defense, that (she) is lying.”
According to him, the defense claim Johnson is a “man to be believed”, who has suffered “irreparable damage” to his footballing career and his relationship with his girlfriend and mother of his child, Stacey Flounders, as a result of his admissions.
Judge Rose said the prosecution’s case is that Johnson, who has admitted being sexually attracted to the girl, is guilty.
He said: “He admits he made contact with her and then met her intending to engage in sexual activity with her.
“He admits that he kissed her.”
The judge said the prosecution’s case is that Johnson “has lied to his girlfriend, to police and to the court”. The trial continues!