“Realised what he was doing was wrong and dropped her off at a sweet shop”.
Adam Johnson has been found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child and faces “significant” time behind bars.
Johnson had previously admitted grooming and kissing the 15-year-old Sunderland fan
Johnson, 28, previously admitted grooming and kissing the young Sunderland fan but had denied the two more serious charges of sexual activity with a child.
The jury had earlier found the footballer not guilty of one count of sexual activity with the child relating to allegations the 15-year-old performed oral sex act on him.
The former England footballer was convicted of digitally penetrating the teenager.
The jury returned with a majority of 10-2 after failing to reach a unanimous verdict.
Judge Jonathan Rose warned “significant” time behind bars was “almost inevitable” but has allowed Adam Johnson to be released on bail before sentencing at a later date.Johnson was told he was granted bail so he can “say goodbye” to his daughter before he is jailed.Judge Rose said:
“You can say goodbye to your daughter. A prison sentence will mean you will not see her for some time.”The footballer must abide by a number of conditions set by bail including a strict 7am-7pm curfew.
Judge Rose said: “The defendant must understand there is a very high probability of a significant custodial sentence.”He added the “starting point” is five years but could range between four to ten years.
A senior officer from the Durham Police praised the victim for her “bravery and courage” in coming forward.
They added: “Johnson exploited his position as a local hero to take advantage of a young and impressionable girl”.
The schoolgirl herself described how the past year was “the hardest of her life”.
She said: “What happened in his car has turned my life upside down. I always doubted that people would believe me.”The victim mentioned how she had “idolised” the footballer and had “lost all confidence” since the incident.
The former Sunderland star was arrested over the child sex charges exactly one year ago today.In a statement issued after the case, Sunderland FC said it “refuted” any suggestion the club “knew all along” that Johnson was intending to change his plea just before his trial.
After two weeks of evidence, Judge Rose had sent the jury out to consider a verdict at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.
Both the girl, who cannot be identified, and Johnson, gave evidence during the trial.Johnson said, “he kissed the girl but realised what he was doing was wrong and dropped her off at a sweet shop, and that he found (the girl) attractive and he was sexually attracted to her
The prosecution said Johnson “has lied to his girlfriend, to police and to the court”, while the defence argued the girl is a “proven liar” who made up the sex allegations.
Judge Jonathan Rose finished his summing up of the case earlier by telling the jury Johnson had “seriously wronged” the teenager.
Judge Rose said: “In evidence Mr Johnson said there was a strong possibility he was sexually aroused when he was kissing (the girl).
He told you he couldn’t remember whether he was aroused or not but he said he enjoyed it.
“He added: “Adam Johnson admitted that he found (the girl) attractive and he was sexually attracted to her.”
The footballer was found guilty on one count of sexual activity with a child
The judge reminded the jury that Johnson had deleted 834 WhatsApp messages from his mobile phone.
The judge recalled that the player and the girl exchanged messages before the January 30 meeting about getting a thank-you kiss.He said that in the messages Johnson said he was after “a little bit more than kissing, a bit of feeling”.
The judge reminded the jury that, from the witness box, Johnson had 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 football player realised it was the wrong thing to do.