Adam Johnson sacked by Sunderland after guilty underage sex plea

SoccerBy Sunday World
Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson

Sunderland have announced they have terminated the contract of midfielder Adam Johnson with immediate effect.

In a short statement posted on the club's website tonight, Sunderland said: 

'In light of Adam Johnson's guilty pleas, the club has today terminated his contract with immediate effect.

'The club will make no further comment.'

Yesterday, Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming.

The 28-year-old Sunderland winger continues to deny two charges of sexual activity with a girl aged under 16.

The footballer, who has earned 12 caps for England, appeared in the dock at Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday wearing a black suit and white shirt and was flanked by a female prison officer.

The defendant, from Castle Eden, County Durham, had his case moved from Durham.

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

Six men and six women have been selected to sit on the jury.

In his directions, Judge Jonathan Rose told the jurors that Johnson had already pleaded guilty to two charges.

Minutes earlier, Johnson had stood in the dock to admit his guilt on the grooming charge which relates to a period between December 30 2014 and February 26 2015 and a further charge of sexual activity on January 30, 2015 which involved kissing and touching the youngster's body.

While being given their directions, the jury were told by the Judge that they may read about the case in the press.

He told the jurors: "Mr Johnson, as you will hear, is a professional footballer for Sunderland Football Club."

They were instructed that they try the defendant on only the evidence they hear in court.

Judge Rose added: "You may see reference to this in the press but it's the evidence in court that you will gather. This defendant has already pleaded guilty to two offences, you will hear more about them in detail when Miss Blackwell opens the case to you on Friday."

He said they must come to a decision on the remaining two charges.

"It will be for you and only you to determine if he is guilty or not guilty."

Kate Blackwell QC for the prosecution said that the alleged incidents had taken place in County Durham, in or about the area of Castle Eden and Wingate.

Johnson is represented by Mr Orlando Pownall QC.

The case will be opened tomorrow.