Saturday 24 June 2017

Judge warns jury in Johnson case that '12-0 is the only possible score'

Stacey Flounders, the ex girlfriend of footballer Adam Johnson at the court yesterday.
Stacey Flounders, the ex girlfriend of footballer Adam Johnson at the court yesterday.
Adam Johnson

Martin Evans in Bradford

The jury in the trial of Adam Johnson has retired to consider its verdict.

The professional footballer (28) has pleaded guilty to grooming a 15-year-old girl and one charge of sexual activity with the teenager.

But the former Sunderland winger denies two more serious counts of sexual activity with a child. The charges relate to an incident in Johnson's Range Rover on January 30 last year after he met up with the girl in County Durham. He admitted kissing the teenager but told the jury the encounter went no further.

The prosecution allege Johnson put his hands down her pants and she gave him oral sex.

Judge Jonathan Rose sent the jury of eight women and four men at Bradford Crown Court out to begin considering its verdict before midday yesterday.

He told the jury: "When you retire, you must reach verdicts on which you are all agreed. I can only accept unanimous verdicts in this case. 12-0 is the only possible score."

Johnson's ex-girlfriend, Stacey Flounders, was in court with his family.

Earlier, the judge reminded the jury about Johnson's account of what happened in the car and how he was arrested at his home in Castle Eden, Co Durham, on March 2, 2015.

Judge Rose said: "In evidence Mr Johnson said there was a strong possibility he was sexually aroused when he was kissing (the girl)."

The judge said Johnson had told the jury he had "seriously wronged" the teenager. Judge Rose said: "Adam Johnson admitted that he found (the girl) attractive and he was sexually attracted to her."

He reminded the jury that Johnson deleted 834 messages from his mobile phone, and that, from the witness box, Johnson told the court: "I considered going as far as she would let me. I was hoping I could feel her body, her private parts. It would be the normal progression."

But, the judge said, Johnson told the jury: "I was hoping it would happen, but it never happened."

He said this was because the player said he realised it was the wrong thing to do.

Irish Independent

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