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Adam Johnson was arrested over extreme pornography

Adam Johnson Credit: PA

Adam Johnson's jailing means it can now be reported the former England footballer was also arrested for possessing extreme pornography.

Images, thought to be of a "jokey nature" but bestiality-related, were found on his computer.

The arrest was mentioned in hearings at Durham Crown Court prior to Johnson's trial for engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

The ex-Sunderland winger has been jailed for six years for engaging in sexual activity with a besotted 15-year-old fan.

Police confirmed he has now been released from his bail in relation to the extreme pornography matter and no further action will be taken.

NSPCC: Premier League or Sunday League - child safety must be top priority

A children's charity has called on everyone to make child safety a priority "whether you're Premier League or Sunday League" following the sentencing of former England footballer Adam Johnson.

The NSPCC, which described Johnson's behaviour as "horrifying" and "inexcusable", has sent a letter to the Football Association expressing concerns about a potential "cultural problem" within the sport.

In the letter, the charity said it was concerned about the approach taken by Sunderland Football Club when confronted with a serious child protection issue.

"We are worried this could be a cultural problem within football as a whole and find it concerning clubs may not see incidents such as these as a child protection issue.

This is not only about one rogue player that behaved badly, but a club that seemingly did not have child protection priorities embedded into their culture. It was not equipped to handle these allegations and seemingly did not deal with them appropriately, or indeed seriously."

– NSPCC letter

Defence: "Adam Johnson does not pose a significant risk of harm to children"

Adam Johnson Credit: PA

Orlando Pownall QC, who has been representing Adam Johnson throughout his case, spoke to the court ahead of the sentencing of the former footballer.

This is what he had to say.

Orlando Pownall QC

"He has lost a lucrative career he will never be able to retrieve.

He has been stripped of his England caps. He has been made the subject of national humiliation and these are all aspects of punishment that arise from his pleas and conviction."

He added that Johnson's conduct towards women

", and could properly be described as deplorable".

The QC added:

"He does not pose a significant risk of harm to children, for (victim) was not selected on her age but despite her age."

He said that despite the huge publicity surrounding the case, no other underage girls have complained about Johnson.

"This is not the case of a predatory paedophile who has sought out children for sexual purposes."

"This was an aberration.

There is no reason to suppose that, given the experience that Mr Johnson has had, that he would contemplate using the internet in the future to contact those below the age of consent."

Prosecution: Johnson had "a compulsive drive to have new sexual experiences

Former Sunderland player Adam Johnson Credit: PA

Kate Blackwell QC acted for the prosecution in the Adam Johnson case.

She spoke to the court ahead of the sentence passed down to Johnson at Bradford Crown Court.

Kate Blackwell QC

The prosecutor pointed to the harassment of the victim on social media, saying those close to him "encouraged and promoted" the abuse by providing a social media platform.

Miss Blackwell said the defendant took advantage of the girl's "adulation".

She added:

"This is not a fleeting contact or a fleeting offence, an isolated episode of messages with (victim). These offences were calculated, considered and carefully orchestrated.

The prosecutor also told the court that Johnson had a history of meeting girls for sex, describing it as a "clandestine habit".

Miss Blackwell said a medical report concluded Johnson:

"...believes he has a right to sex".

She said the same report writer said the footballer believed his actions did not constitute an offence as he thought of the victim as a young woman not a child.

The prosecutor said he told one medic: "I treated her like any other girl I meet."

She said he added:

"I put her age out of my mind ... Her age never came into my mind."

Miss Blackwell said one report concluded that Johnson has:

"a compulsive drive to have new sexual experiences".


Psychiatrist: Johnson was "socially and psychologically immature"

Johnson outside court Credit: PA

Judge Rose, before sentencing former Sunderland player Adam Johnson at Bradford Crown Court, heard from both the prosecution and the defence barristers.

A doctor who have evidence also spoke to the court.

He talked about Johnson as a man who was "socially and psychologically immature."

Here's what he had to say:

The consultant psychiatrist

Dr Philip Hopley, a consultant psychiatrist giving evidence for the defence, told the court:

This is a man who, at the age of 28, is socially and psychologically immature."

Dr Hopley said Johnson developed very late physically and had low self confidence as a youngster.

He said he believed that as a professional footballer he developed his confidence and self-esteem very quickly and this, combined with the availability of willing women, led to his "compulsive sexual behaviour".

The doctor said he found no evidence in Johnson of an attraction to pre-pubescent children or "sexual perversion".

He told the court Johnson had disclosed his activities to him.

Johnson's barrister Orlando Pownall QC asked him:

"Did you perceive that he was trying to underestimate and mislead you?"

Dr Hopley replied:

"No I did not."

Mr Pownall asked whether Johnson told him that sending explicit messages was "common practice amongst his fellow professional footballers and associates"?

The psychiatrist replied:

"That is correct."

Mr Pownall said that Johnson had described an increasing availability of women, adding that "he never thought that what he was doing was wrong in his head".

The barrister added:

"Did he appear to show remorse for his actions?"

Dr Hopley said:

"Yes he did."

The psychiatrist added that Johnson had told him he had:

"Lost every aspect of his life"

"I just want to let people I have hurt get on with their lives now."

Judge Rose: "You made a deliberate decision to engage in sexual activity with this young girl"

Johnson playing for Sunderland Credit: PA

Before sentencing at Bradford Crown Court, Judge Rose addressed Adam Johnson, talking about the impact his crimes had had on his victim.

The judge said the victim had been a Sunderland fan who would wait after matches to take pictures of her "favourite player", Johnson, who had known her age.

"That was known to you - to put it another way she had only just turned 15 when you began grooming her, because as you were to admit you found her sexually attractive."

He added that the footballer's intention had been to engage in sexual activity with her, knowing that she was under 16.

The judge said Johnson had exchanged more than 800 messages with her, which had largely been innocent.

But he added:

"You continued in your grooming of this girl even after you were engaged in sexual activity with her. You wanted no one to know that you and she were exchanging messages.

"You asked her to find a place to meet that was private and secluded so no one would see you in her company."

Judge Rose told Johnson the offences happened "at a time when you were engaged in frequent sexual intercourse with multiple partners".

He said:

"You made a deliberate decision to engage in sexual activity with this young girl, no doubt in the expectation that you would get away with it."

"Your future as a professional footballer must be in doubt."

The judge said Johnson's decision not to plead guilty meant that the girl was subjected to a year of being called a liar, including having this being chanted by football fans.

He said she reached her "lowest ebb" after giving evidence in the trial.

Judge Rose said the aggravating factors included the secluded location of the offence, Johnson's "disposal" of social media evidence and attempts to stop the girl reporting the matter.

"She speaks of entering many dark places in that year and said she had suffered bullying and stress and had underachieved at school as a result of the case."

The judge also said Johnson must pay £50,000 of the prosecution's £67,132 court costs.

Johnson sentencing: Durham Police reaction

Durham Police have released a statement following the sentencing of Adam Johnson at Bradford Crown Court.

The former Sunderland footballer has been sentenced to 6 years behind bars.

Detective Inspector Aelfwynn Sampson, of Durham Constabulary, said:

“This is a carefully considered and significant sentence which sends out a clear message.

“Fame, celebrity and a position of power does not give you the right to break the law in pursuit of whatever you desire.

“Members of the public are clearly entitled to express their opinions but the law remains clear and Adam Johnson broke it.

“He partially admitted his guilt and was found guilty of a more serious count after trial.

“The age of consent is clear. It is set at 16 to protect young people from adults and also themselves.

“Johnson, a 28-year-old man, picked out a 15-year-old girl. His sexual intentions to the girl were clear as he admitted himself while giving evidence.

“He pleaded guilty to grooming her for sexual activity fully knowing how old she was from the start. She never lied about her age to him.

“He groomed his victim and gave her his personal phone number, arranged to meet her and gave her special gifts of signed shirts.

“Over a period of time they exchanged hundreds of messages. He made her feel special and admitted flirting with her to manipulate the schoolgirl in an attempt to satisfy his sexual desires.

“This girl should have been safe but she was used by the public figure she looked up to most.

“I hope today will bring some closure for her and her family.

“This case demonstrates that victims of these crimes will be taken seriously and perpetrators will be dealt with robustly.”

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