Tuesday 6 December 2016

Video secretly filmed by Adam Johnson's schoolgirl accuser before alleged "sexual encounter" shown to jury

England footballer's voice can be heard on short video, which trial told girl took to prove to her friends she had met up with him

Camilla Turner

Published 19/02/2016 | 10:49

Adam Johnson is on trial at Bradford Crown Court
Adam Johnson is on trial at Bradford Crown Court

This is the footage which Adam Johnson's schoolgirl accuser secretly filmed while sitting in his Range Rover during their second meeting at which the alleged "sexual encounter" took place.

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The girl, who was then aged 15, said she took the video in order to prove to her friends that she had met up with her 28-year-old footballer "idol" and sat in his car.

However, after the video was taken, at a meeting on January 30, 2015, an alleged sexual encounter took place which subsequently led to a police investigation and the former England international player Johnson standing trial.

Asked in court about why she took a secret video recording on her phone, she said: "It was to show that I had actually met up with him. If anyone had asked us, I had the proof there.

"Obviously I was trying to brag about it and show off about it because how many other people could say it had happened to them?

"I thought I was big and I thought I was clever. I didn't see at the time - I feel so stupid now for not seeing but I didn't see at the time..."

Former Sunderland soccer player Adam Johnson leaves with his girlfriend girlfriend Stacey Flounders from Bradford Crown Court in Bradford, northern England
Former Sunderland soccer player Adam Johnson leaves with his girlfriend girlfriend Stacey Flounders from Bradford Crown Court in Bradford, northern England

The short recording shows a picture of the car's dashboard and has an audio recording of the Sunderland footballer's voice.

The girl said she did not point the camera at his face as she didn't want him to see she was filming.

The girl took the video on Snapchat, a social media application which automatically deletes content within 24 hours of it being sent, but then her friend took a recording of it on her phone.

This meant it was preserved as evidence, and was shown to the jury in Thursday at Bradford Crown Court.

The trial also heard Johnson was texting the alleged victim around the time his girlfriend gave birth and spoke about baby names.

Johnson, who is accused of engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old fan who "idolised" him, made a secret social media account so he could talk to the schoolgirl without his girlfriend Stacey Flounders finding out, the jury was told.

"He made a new snapchat account for her because Stacey looks at his friends [on Snapchat]," a friend of the schoolgirl said in a police interview, which was played in court on Thursday morning when Miss Flounders did not attend.

"He made a separate [account] so he could talk to her without Stacey knowing. She [the schoolgirl] didn't text him in case Stacey looks."

The jury heard earlier in the trial how Johnson had used Snapchat to ask the schoolgirl to send him naked pictures of herself.

The friend went on: "They were talking when he had a baby. He was talking about what he was going to name [the baby]."

Another school friend who gave evidence on Thursday said that the girl wanted to keep the alleged sex act she performed on Johnson a secret because "she didn't want to tell her mum" and because she was worried it would make her "seem dirty".

She also did not want to get Johnson in "more trouble" and she "didn't think anyone would believe her because she's 15".

Speaking to the court via video link, the school friend said that at first she did not believe the girl was really talking to Johnson because that would make him a "paedophile".

"At first I thought it's definitely not Adam Johnson because he's however old he is and he's a bit of a paedophile if he's going for kids of 15 and that," she said to Kate Blackwell QC, prosecuting.

The friend said the girl told her that they had planned to have sex at a third meeting, but Johnson never arrived.

"She told us that they were going to meet up again. She told us just before that she was going to have sex with him," she said.

The friend recalled a conversation between the Johnson and the girl which took place prior to the third meeting, in which he asked how old she was. She replied that she was 15, and he then asked her when she would turn 16.

"She said November. He said 'oh well that's ages away," the friend told court.

The friend said the girl told her the meeting would take place somewhere that was "out of the way like the other ones were" because she was underage.

Another schoolfriend who also gave evidence on Thursday told the court had been with the girl the night of the alleged planned encounter with Johnson, but that he never showed up.

"He said that he couldn't get out of the house because he didn't have an excuse for Stacey," the friend said.

The friend described a photo she received of Johnson's home, which was taken by the girl the same evening that he had stood her up.

She said it was sent with a caption of "something like 'bae's house' or something stupid like that".

The judge intervened to ask the friend to describe what "bae" meant - a term with which he was not familiar and was told it was a term used to describe "someone you fancy".

The court heard how the schoolgirl had a party at her house shortly after her second meeting with Johnson - during which the alleged sexual encounter took place - and after getting drunk, told her close girl friends what had happened.

At school, the girls told the boys about alleged sexual encounter, and soon the gossip spread throughout the year.

Johnson's defence barrister, Orlando Pownall QC, told the court: "After the party it became clear that a lot of people knew about what [the girl] was claiming had happened".

After the information was spread on Facebook, and boys in the year started asking he girl about it, she "started panicking" and phoned her friend feeling "distraught".

That evening, she told her father about her meetings with Johnson, who told her mother, who told police.

Johnson, of Castle Eden, Co Durham, has admitted one charge of sexual activity with a child in relation to the incident in the Range Rover on January 30, last year.

He has also pleaded guilty to grooming the girl. But he denies two further counts of sexual activity with a child relating to the same incident which prosecutors have described as "more serious".

The trial continues.

Telegraph.co.uk

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