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Footballer appears in court charged with grooming and sexual activity with girl under 16

Charged: Johnson appeared in court alongside his girlfriend Stacey Flounders
Charged: Johnson appeared in court alongside his girlfriend Stacey Flounders

England footballer Adam Johnson walked with his partner into court where he faced three offences of sexual activity with a girl under 16 and one of grooming.

The 27-year-old Sunderland star held hands with Stacey Flounders as they arrived at Peterlee Magistrates' Court.

The winger was arrested in March after he was accused of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

The three counts of sexual activity with a child were said to have taken place on one night in January at two locations in County Durham while the meeting a child after sexual grooming offence was said to have happened between December and February.

The winger, who has played 12 times for England, lives in a mansion in Castle Eden, County Durham.

Born in Sunderland, Johnson began his career at Middlesbrough before moving to Manchester City and then Sunderland for £10 million in 2012.

During the five-minute hearing, his solicitor, Paul Morris, indicated he would plead not guilty. No pleas were entered today.

The case was sent to Durham Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on June 3. He did not comment as he left court with Ms Flounders and was driven away in a Range Rover.

Johnson wore a grey suit with an open necked shirt.

Ms Flounders wore a beige jacket and black jeans.