Tuesday 6 December 2016

England footballer Adam Johnson pleads guilty to sexual activity with child

Published 10/02/2016 | 11:45

England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, and partner Stacey Flounders arrive at Bradford Crown Court, Bradford
England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, and partner Stacey Flounders arrive at Bradford Crown Court, Bradford
Sunderland soccer player Adam Johnson (R) arrives with his girlfriend Stacey Flounders at Bradford Crown Court in Bradford, Britain February 10, 2016
England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, arrives at Bradford Crown Court, Bradford, where he is due to go on trial accused of child sex charges Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, arrives at Bradford Crown Court, Bradford, where he is due to go on trial accused of child sex charges
England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, arrives at Bradford Crown Court
England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, and partner Stacey Flounders arrive at Bradford Crown Court
England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, arrives at Bradford Crown Court, Bradford
England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, arrivea at Bradford Crown Court
England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, and partner Stacey Flounders

Footballer Adam Johnson has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming.

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The 28-year-old Sunderland winger continues to deny two charges of sexual activity with a girl aged under 16.

England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, and partner Stacey Flounders arrive at Bradford Crown Court, Bradford
England footballer Adam Johnson, 28, and partner Stacey Flounders arrive at Bradford Crown Court, Bradford

The footballer, who has earned 12 caps for England, appeared in the dock at Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday wearing a black suit and white shirt and was flanked by a female prison officer.

The defendant, from Castle Eden, County Durham, had his case moved from Durham.

Born in Sunderland, he began his career at Middlesbrough before moving to Manchester City and then to Sunderland for £10m in 2012.

Six men and six women have been selected to sit on the jury.

Adam Johnston after scoring for Sunderland against Liverpool
Adam Johnston after scoring for Sunderland against Liverpool

While being given their directions they were told by Judge Jonathan Rose that they may read about the case in the press.

He told the jurors: "Mr Johnson, as you will hear, is a professional footballer for Sunderland Football Club."

They were instructed that they try the defendant on only the evidence they hear in court.

Judge Rose added: "You may see reference to this in the press but it's the evidence in court that you will gather. This defendant has already leaded guilty to two offences, you will hear more about them in detail when Miss Blackwell opens the case to you on Friday."

He said they must come to a decision on the remaining two charges.

"It will be for you and only you to determine if he is guilty or not guilty."

Kate Blackwell QC for the prosecution said that the alleged incidents had taken place in County Durham, in or about the area of Castle Eden and Wingate.

Johnson is represented by Mr Orlando Pownall QC.

The case will be opened on Friday.

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