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LIVE: Adam Johnson apologised ‘wholeheartedly’ for kissing schoolgirl who ‘ought to have been safe’ in his company

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England footballer Adam Johnson has returned to court this morning for day seven of his child sex trial.

The 28-year-old winger pleaded guilty to charges of grooming and sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl earlier this month.

But he denies two more serious charges of sexual activity with same teenager, involving penetration.

Today, the prosecution is expected to finish putting forward its case at Bradford Crown Court, before Johnson’s barrister presents his defence.

Johnson is giving evidence as part of this process, resulting in a stronger media presence than usual at the proceedings.

Jurors have previously heard how the ex-Sunderland star’s ‘excessive arrogance’ and ‘sexual desire’ for the schoolgirl landed him in court.

They have also been told that the father of one ‘abused his revered position in society’ by allegedly engaging in sexual activity with an underage besotted fan.

Adam-Johnson


16:29
Johnson breaks down as he claims he ‘loved’ girlfriend when he was texting teen

Johnson broke down this afternoon as he told the court he loved his longtime girlfriend ‘just as much’ as he ‘always had’ when he was texting the teenager.

The former Sunderland winger was seen wiping his eyes as he was questioned at Bradford Crown Court about his relationship with Stacey Flounders.

Jurors heard that he had been texting Ms Flounders at the same time he was texting the 15-year-old he had just kissed on the night of January 30 last year.

But taking the stand today, a tearful Johnson insisted: “I loved her just as much as I always had.”

Mr Pownall told the defendant: ”You were sending messages to one and then texting the other. You weren’t thinking of your family?”

Johnson admitted that he wasn’t.

He also told the court that Ms Flounders was suspicious of him texting other women.

She messaged him asking him who else he was talking to, the court heard.

She also told him: “It’s only going to work if you make me feel that you love me, that I am not just an idiot at home doing stuff for you and having your kid.”

16:21
Johnson says ‘wanted to get your jeans off’ text was just ‘stupid flirting’

Johnson told the schoolgirl he ‘wanted to get her jeans off’ in a text message after they met in his Range Rover, the court heard today.

The footballer was asked why he had sent the message to the 15-year-old following their meeting at the beginning of last year.

He replied: “It was just stupid flirting, I shouldn’t have done it.”

He also told the court, “I didn’t do what she’s saying I did,” as he took the stand to deny engaging in sexual activity with the teenager.

When asked about flirty text messages he had sent to the girl after they kissed in his car, he said:

The court heard that flirty texting between the pair resumed shorty after they kissed. “I didn’t think it was that bad.

“I had all sorts of emotions going on, thinking what if someone finds out, but I ignored it so I got caught up texting again.

“When I had the kiss the thoughts through my mind were what was I doing, thinking of all he people I was letting down.

“I was flirting with her and I was arrogant talking to her as if she was a girl of age. I regret it, I have done since the moment I did it. I said a lot of things that were never going to happen after that second meeting I never went back and I was never going to.”

15:33
Johnson admits he wanted to ‘touch’ schoolgirl ‘sexually’

Johnson has admitted he wanted to engage in sexual ‘touching’ with the schoolgirl during their second meeting.

The ex-Sunderland star met with the 15-year-old in his Range Rover on January 30 last year, the court heard.

Taking the stand today, he admitted that he thought there was a possibility he might touch the alleged victim ‘sexually’.

When asked by Mr Pownall: “Did you have in your mind there would be sexual touching? Did you want that?”, he simply replied: “Yes.”

The court also heard the footballer had sent a message to the girl, reading: “I thought that I might get more than a kiss, a bit of feeling? No pressure.”

Johnson told Mr Powell he now regrets sending the message.

“It was just flirting again,” he said.

“I considered at that time that it wouldn’t be any more than just a kiss, that’s why I said a little bit of feeling, that I regret now.”

During this afternoon’s proceedings, Johnson also admitted that he wanted to ‘kiss’ the teenager and had ‘enjoyed’ it.

He added that their meeting in his parked car lasted around 15 minutes.

“I think she said why are we talking for, I have come for my thank you kiss, then the kiss happened,” he told the court.

Mr Pownall QC asked: “Did you want to kiss her? Did you enjoy it?”, to which Johnson replied: “Yes.”

The footballer continued: “I had all sorts of things going on in my head at the time. I was thinking what am I doing, I have got so much to lose if anyone’s seen me. I had all sorts going on in my head, what am I doing?”

He also said that the Black Cats knew that he had kissed an underage girl.

Prosecutors allege that two counts of sexual activity occurred during this meeting.

15:00
“It was my fault, everything was my fault” – Johnson

Johnson told the court that ‘everything’ was his ‘fault’ when asked about text messages he had sent to the schoolgirl.

The 28-year-old said: “It was easier to write stuff in words and send it over the phone. It was another thing actually going to do it.

“It was my fault, everything was my fault.”

Mr Pownall QC asked Johnson why he hadn’t put a stop to the messages.

“I wish I had, I was just caught up in the texting, speaking to her as if she was any other person and I should have known better,” the footballer replied.

He added that he ‘should’ve known better’ than to text the teenager.

14:52
‘We just spoke about football and the team’ – Johnson

Johnson claims he and the schoolgirl ‘just spoke about football’ during their first meeting in a secluded car park.

The ex-Sunderland winger met with the 15-year-old at the site in County Durham for around 10 minutes last January, the court heard.

“We just spoke about football really and how the team had been performing,” Johnson said today of the meet.

He added that he had been ‘a bit worried’ after seeing lots of passers-by outside his parked Range Rover.

During the meeting on January 17, Johnson signed two shirts and an autograph book for the girl while she sat in his car.

He later sent her a text saying ‘You owe me’, the court heard.

When asked why he sent this message, Johnson replied that he was ‘flirting’, before adding: “I shouldn’t have been.”

Johnson was sacked by Sunderland AFC after admitting to two of the charges against him.

14:39
I’m ashamed I sent ‘flirty’ messages – Johnson

Johnson has admitted that he is ‘ashamed’ for sending ‘flirty and inappropriate’ messages to the schoolgirl.

Taking the stand after a lunch break at Bradford Crown Court, he said he had sent the texts to the teenager because he was ‘bored’ in his hotel room.

“When you’re in hotel room, it’s easy to text and get carried away just to keep busy because you spend a lot of time in hotels,” he told jurors.

Mr Pownall, defending, then asked him: “You admit that these texts are flirty?”

Johnson replied: “Yes 100 per cent. I was in a hotel room, I was bored, I am ashamed that I did that when I shouldn’t have been doing it.

“It was inappropriate.”

The court heard that Johnson regularly prompted the teenager to delete the messages they had exchanged.

14:28
Trial back underway

Johnson’s hearing is back underway at Bradford Crown Court following a short lunch break.

The footballer is in the witness box as he gives evidence on day seven of his child sex trial.

This afternoon, the court will hear about messages between Johnson and the schoolgirl at the centre of the case.

Court has finished for lunch.

Johnson will return to the stand at 2.15pm.

The winger has already told jurors that his lifestyle as a professional footballer made him arrogant and slowed down his maturity.

He has also admitted to sending explicit text messages to women ‘in their mid-twenties’ and has claimed that he always shaves his chest ‘for tanning purposes’.

Johnson’s relatives are absent from the courtroom today.

His girlfriend and the mother of his baby daughter, Stacey Flounders, is also not present.

She has not joined the footballer at court since last Tuesday.

Johnson explains why he Googled ‘legal age of consent’ after meeting schoolgirl

Johnson has claimed that he Googled ‘legal age of consent’ as he chatted to his Sunderland AFC team mates about different laws on sex around the world.

The father of one, from Castle Eden, Co. Durham, said he was discussing the issue with his foreign team mates when he conducted the online search.

He added that it had ‘nothing at all’ to do with the age of the schoolgirl at the centre of his child sex trial.

Johnson carried out the Google search just days after he and the 15-year-old allegedly engaged in sexual activity in his Range Rover on January 30 last year.

Giving evidence at today’s hearing, the footballer also claimed that his team mates were messaging other people via Whatsapp.

Mr Pownall QC asked him: “As far as you are aware would any of your club mates be Whatsapping people?”, to which Johnson replied: “Yes.”

His barrister then enquired: “To the extent that you were?”

Johnson said: “Yes.”

Mr Pownall asked: “More so?”, and Johnson replied: “yes”

13:11
‘I always shave my chest for tanning purposes’ – Johnson continues evidence

Jurors have been shown snaps of Johnson sporting a shaved chest on holidays in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Dubai.

The jet-setting footballer, who went on a stag do in Dubai last June, explained his lack of body hair in court today.

“I always shave my chest for tanning purposes,” he told jurors, adding that it was not unusual for footballers to shave their bodies.

Johnson – who is accused of engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old schoolgirl in his Range Rover last January – took the stand to give evidence in his defence this afternoon.

He told the court he had recognised the teenager when she had tried to add him on Facebook in late December 2014.

“I knew she’d been at the ground asking me for a shirt – at the time I didn’t think it was a problem,” he said.

Mr Pownall then asked Johnson: “At that time did you contemplate a sexual encounter with the girl?”

In response, he said: “No.”

The footballer was also asked why he was so concerned about the schoolgirl telling other people that she was talking to him.

Shortly after they began speaking, he had messaged the teenager, saying: “You can’t tell anyone that you’re talking to me.”

Johnson said in court today there were numerous reasons why he had not wanted the girl to tell others about their correspondence.

‘There was lots of reasons (sic),” he said. “I had a girlfriend, I knew what could be made of talking to a girl that young, I didn’t want her telling her friend and then all asking for a shirt as if I just did it for anyone.”

He added: “I didn’t want anyone to find out.”

Johnson said he was also concerned about people seeing his car when he met the girl.
“My car is quite recognisable, all it takes is one picture and then people start making rumours,” he told the court.

12:57
Johnson admits sending explicit messages to women ‘in their mid-twenties’

Johnson has admitted to sending explicit text messages to a number of different women ‘in their mid-twenties’.

The footballer was involved in the correspondence at around the same time he was messaging the schoolgirl, the court heard.

Taking the stand in his defence today, Johnson acknowledged he was not a ‘good person’ to his girlfriend and baby daughter in January and February of last year.

“Our relationship was not very good. It was all my fault,” he said.
“I’d been speaking to people that I shouldn’t have been and I hadn’t been a very good person to her and my daughter.”

Johnson admitted that his messages to the other women were ‘more explicit’ than those between him and the teenager.

12:48
Football lifestyle made me arrogant and slowed down my maturity – Johnson

Johnson has claimed in court that his lifestyle as a professional footballer made him arrogant and slowed down his maturity.

The ex-Sunderland footballer took the stand at Bradford Crown Court this afternoon to give evidence at his child sex trial.

When asked by Mr Pownall, what it is like to be a professional footballer, he said: “It’s every young boys dream, people screaming your name.”

“It’s the best feeling in the world but you also get everything done for you, you get a lot of things easy.”

12:57
Johnson admits sending explicit messages to women ‘in their mid-twenties’

Johnson has admitted to sending explicit text messages to a number of different women ‘in their mid-twenties’.

The footballer was involved in the correspondence at around the same time he was messaging the schoolgirl, the court heard.

Taking the stand in his defence today, Johnson acknowledged he was not a ‘good person’ to his girlfriend and baby daughter in January and February of last year.

“Our relationship was not very good. It was all my fault,” he said.
“I’d been speaking to people that I shouldn’t have been and I hadn’t been a very good person to her and my daughter.”

Johnson admitted that his messages to the other women were ‘more explicit’ than those between him and the teenager.

12:48
Football lifestyle made me arrogant and slowed down my maturity – Johnson

Johnson has claimed in court that his lifestyle as a professional footballer made him arrogant and slowed down his maturity.

The ex-Sunderland footballer took the stand at Bradford Crown Court this afternoon to give evidence at his child sex trial.

When asked by Mr Pownall, what it is like to be a professional footballer, he said: “It’s every young boys dream, people screaming your name.”

“It’s the best feeling in the world but you also get everything done for you, you get a lot of things easy.”

“I accept that she was a child and ought to have been safe in my company.”

The court heard how the winger had told police his and the girl’s relationship had been platonic at the start.

He admitted in the statement he had ‘effectively been cyber flirting’ with the teenager via messages which have been read out in court.

He went on to say that he had a cast on his hand due to a thumb injury at the time of the pair’s second meeting on January 30.
He said his left hand was ‘locked’ and could not move, but that he was right handed, the court heard.
Johnson told interviewing officers that it was an oversight that he didn’t mention the cast when he was first interviewed on March 2.

He added that ‘after the second meeting and upon considerable consideration of her age and my own circumstances’, he ceased contact with the girl.

11:45
Schoolgirl’s interview delayed due to newspaper investigation

The schoolgirl’s second interview with Durham Police did not take place until mid-April due to a separate case with The Sun newspaper, the jury heard.

The other investigation regarded whether the national paper had breached anonymity orders.

It resulted in the girl’s interview being delayed after her first one took place last February, Det Insp Sampson said.

Police only wanted the girl to face one additional interview which is why it was delayed, the court was told.

Prosecutors are now preparing to read out a list of ‘agreed’ facts – these are statements agreed by both prosecution and defence parties in the case.

11:34
Football club told to consider ‘child safeguarding issues’ after Johnson’s arrest

Sunderland Football Club was advised to consider ‘child safeguarding issues’ within hours of Johnson’s arrest, jurors heard.

The club’s solicitors made contact with Durham Police after hearing of the winger’s detention at his £1.5million mansion in Castle Eden.

Its chief executive, Margaret Byrne, was then contacted by DI Sampson and informed of the allegations made against Johnson.

DI Sampson told the court this morning: “On March 2, Sunderland called and made contact with my office to discuss what had happened. I made arrangements to meet her at the training ground.

“I accept that she was a child and ought to have been safe in my company.”

The court heard how the winger had told police his and the girl’s relationship had been platonic at the start.

He admitted in the statement he had ‘effectively been cyber flirting’ with the teenager via messages which have been read out in court.

He went on to say that he had a cast on his hand due to a thumb injury at the time of the pair’s second meeting on January 30.
He said his left hand was ‘locked’ and could not move, but that he was right handed, the court heard.
Johnson told interviewing officers that it was an oversight that he didn’t mention the cast when he was first interviewed on March 2.

He added that ‘after the second meeting and upon considerable consideration of her age and my own circumstances’, he ceased contact with the girl.

11:45
Schoolgirl’s interview delayed due to newspaper investigation

The schoolgirl’s second interview with Durham Police did not take place until mid-April due to a separate case with The Sun newspaper, the jury heard.

The other investigation regarded whether the national paper had breached anonymity orders.

It resulted in the girl’s interview being delayed after her first one took place last February, Det Insp Sampson said.

Police only wanted the girl to face one additional interview which is why it was delayed, the court was told.

Prosecutors are now preparing to read out a list of ‘agreed’ facts – these are statements agreed by both prosecution and defence parties in the case.

11:34
Football club told to consider ‘child safeguarding issues’ after Johnson’s arrest

Sunderland Football Club was advised to consider ‘child safeguarding issues’ within hours of Johnson’s arrest, jurors heard.

The club’s solicitors made contact with Durham Police after hearing of the winger’s detention at his £1.5million mansion in Castle Eden.

Its chief executive, Margaret Byrne, was then contacted by DI Sampson and informed of the allegations made against Johnson.

DI Sampson told the court this morning: “On March 2, Sunderland called and made contact with my office to discuss what had happened. I made arrangements to meet her at the training ground.

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