| 10.1°C Dublin

Schoolgirl's boast of 'relationship with footballer' led to his arrest

Adam Johnson, the England footballer suspected of having sex with a 15-year-old girl, was arrested after the teenager boasted she was in a relationship with him and her father found out.

The Sunderland winger was detained on Monday morning at his €2m home after Durham Police received a complaint from the schoolgirl's father.

He was released on Monday night on bail. Durham Constabulary said that a 27-year-old man arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16 years had been released on bail "pending ongoing investigations".

The force has since said he will answer bail on March 18.

It is understood the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had boasted of her alleged liaison with the footballer to friends and on social media.

When her father was made aware of the rumours, he went to the police and Johnson was arrested and questioned for several hours.


The house in County Durham of suspended Sunderland player Adam Johnson

The house in County Durham of suspended Sunderland player Adam Johnson


The house in County Durham of suspended Sunderland player Adam Johnson

The player, who has had 12 caps for England, has since been suspended by Sunderland AFC, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Johnson's partner, Stacey Flounders, is reported to have given birth to their daughter just seven weeks ago.

Her mother has defended the former Middlesbrough and Manchester City star, insisting they are standing by him as he is "100pc innocent".

She told the 'Daily Mirror': "They are still very close and are absolutely still together. He is 100pc innocent and we will stand by him. He hasn't been found guilty of anything.

"He is a great lad and has not done anything wrong. This is a horrible situation."

A statement from Sunderland said: "Sunderland AFC has confirmed that Adam Johnson has been suspended from the club, pending the outcome of a police investigation. No further comment will be made at the present time." Johnson had been due to travel with the rest of the squad to Humberside on Monday afternoon for their Premier League fixture at Hull, a vital match in the battle to avoid relegation.

Johnson cost the Wearside club £10m when they bought him in 2012 and he has gone on to score 17 goals for them.

A loaded gun was reportedly found as police searched Johnson's six-bedroom property. It is thought that the weapon was legally held.

Meanwhile, Durham Police have reminded the public that identifying someone who may or may not be a victim of a sexual offence is against the law.

A spokesman said: "Victims of sexual assault are guaranteed the legal right to lifetime anonymity. (© Daily Telegraph, London)