Adam Johnson denies sex acts with 15-year-old girl

NewsBy Sunday World
Johnson arriving at court on Monday
Johnson arriving at court on Monday

Former Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson has told a jury he did not have oral sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Johnson began giving evidence in his trial at Bradford Crown Court, accused of sexual activity with a child.

The 28-year-old former Premier League winger has admitted grooming and kissing the teenager.

Orlando Pownall QC, defending, asked Johnson: "You pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child and meeting a child following sexual grooming. Did you accept kissing (the girl)?"

Johnson said: "Yes."

Mr Pownall continued: "Did you digitally interfere with her or indulge in oral sex with her?"

The footballer answered: "No, I never."

Johnson told the jury that he knew kissing the girl was an offence but said he did not realise that communicating with her with the intention of kissing her prior to meeting was also an offence.

The court heard that Johnson accepted the girl as a friend on Facebook but declined her request to follow him on Instagram. They exchanged telephone numbers and swapped messages on WhatsApp.

Mr Pownall asked: "Were you contemplating any kind of sexual encounter with her?"

Johnson replied: "No."

He said he asked for the teenager's number because she had been asking for signed shirts.

When asked why he told her not to tell anyone she was messaging him, he said: "Loads of reasons - I had a girlfriend, I knew what could be made of speaking to a girl that age, I didn't want her to tell her friends and them to come and ask me for shirts as well."

Earlier, the court heard that Johnson made a prepared statement to police in which he accepted the "stupidity" of his actions.

Daniel Thomas, junior prosecutor in the case, read out the statement to the jury of eight women and four men.

He said Johnson admitted kissing the girl "fully on the lips" during the meeting in his Range Rover on January 30 last year but denied more serious allegations.

Mr Thomas said Johnson told police he had "no specific recollection" of being sexually aroused but admitted it was a "possibility".

He said his initial meetings with the girl were "platonic in nature" and she would regularly approach him and request signed shirts.

Reading the statement, Mr Thomas said: "I accept the stupidity of my actions."

He said Johnson described his actions as "wholly unacceptable" and said he withdrew from any further contact with the girl because of her age and his own personal situation.

In the statement, Johnson apologised to the girl.

He said: "She's a child and ought to have been safe in my company."