1. ITV Report

Adam Johnson case 'grooming in its purest form', court hears

The prosecution in the case of Sunderland footballer Adam Johnson has told the court that he has "lied, lied and lied again" throughout his trial.

Johnson is accused of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

Footballer Adam Johnson arrives at Bradford Crown Court Credit: PA

The 28-year-old has admitted grooming and kissing the girl but denies that further sex acts took place in his car.

Summing up their case, the prosecution said they expected the jury had seen through the player's "transparent cloak of rectitude" to the "core of deceit and lies".

Kate Blackwell QC told the court that WhatsApp messages exchanged between the pair were "building up to a sexual encounter".

She said: "What's clear through the WhatsApp messages is he guided her in a classic case of grooming. Grooming in its purest form."

Miss Blackwell said Johnson was a man who had "pretty much everything" but cheated on his girlfriend, Stacey Flounders, the mother of his daughter, in a way that "demonstrated his exceptional duplicity".

She said: "It epitomises the sort of man who would commit the offences that are on this indictment."

Kate Blackwell QC, who is leading the prosecution in the trial

Miss Blackwell continued:

By his own admission, Adam Johnson is not a man of honour.

It is the prosecution's case that he has not faced up to his responsibilities and he has demonstrated that he lacks integrity.

He lacks integrity through his dealings with (the girl), through his dealings with (his girlfriend) Stacey Flounders and through his dealings with the courts.

He's a self-confessed arrogant man who throws himself at your mercy and asks you to accept that his contrition for what he has done is genuine.

But we expect you have seen through his transparent cloak of rectitude. It doesn't take much to lift the material and peek inside to the core of deceit and lies.

– Kate Blackwell QC

Adam Johnson's defence team will outline their case to the jury this afternoon.

The footballer denies two charges of sexual activity with a child and the case continues.

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