Friday 30 September 2016

Convicted sex offender Adam Johnson has NOT been stripped of his England caps despite claims

Callum Davis

Published 24/03/2016 | 17:31

Former Sunderland soccer player Adam Johnson (R) arrives for sentencing at Bradford Crown Court in Bradford today
Former Sunderland soccer player Adam Johnson (R) arrives for sentencing at Bradford Crown Court in Bradford today

Adam Johnson has not been stripped of his England caps by the Football Association, despite a claim made by his barrister Orlando Pownall QC.

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Former England international and Sunderland footballer Johnson has been sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of sexual activity and grooming a 15-year-old girl. Johnson’s barrister claimed in court that his client had all of his 12 England appearances erased from history, but the FA have confirmed that is not the case.

The FA condemns Johnson’s behaviour and released a safeguarding video ahead of his sentencing, but cannot take England caps back off players.

Mr Pownall had said: “He has lost a lucrative career he will never be able to retrieve. He has been stripped of his England caps. He has been made the subject of national humiliation and these are all aspects of punishment that arise from his pleas and conviction.”

Stripping Johnson of his caps over a criminal conviction would have put the FA in a tricky position, as current England squad member Jamie Vardy has a conviction for assault nine years ago.

Prior to the sentencing, Johnson was warned he faced a "substantial prison sentence" after he was found guilty on one count by a jury earlier this month.

Judge Jonathan Rose told Johnson: "You found her sexually attractive and you wanted some sexual intimacy with her.

"If the only object was for you to give her a signed shirt there was no reason for secrecy."

"I must conclude these initial exchanges were all part of grooming."

Johnson ran into the entrance of Bradford Crown Court as a line of police officers guarded the front as reporters and photographers waited outside.

In his address to Bradford Crown Court, Johnson's defence lawyer, Mr Pownall, urged the the judge not to "get carried away" in his sentencing.

The QC added: "He does not pose a significant risk of harm to children, for (victim) was not selected on her age but despite her age."

He said that despite the huge publicity surrounding the case, no other underage girls have complained about Johnson.

"This is not the case of a predatory paedophile who has sought out children for sexual purposes," he said.

Johnson made 12 appearances in all for England, making five appearances in Fabio Capello's qualification campaign for Euro 2012.

The winger scored his first international goal in a 4-0 win over Bulgaria in September 2010.

Telegraph.co.uk

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