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Summary

  1. Ex-Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson jailed for six years
  2. Follows convictions for sexual activity with a child and grooming
  3. Judge told he inflicted 'severe psychological harm' on schoolgirl
  4. Court also hears Adam Johnson had animal porn on his laptop

Live Reporting

By Rebecca Turner

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Our live coverage has now finished for the day. 

It's been a day in which former Sunderland and Middlesbrough footballer Adam Johnson was sentenced to six years in prison for sexual activity with a 15-year-old fan.

Here's a round-up of what we learned:

Adam Johnson
Reuters

Chances of Adam Johnson playing again are 'particularly remote'

The chances of Adam Johnson playing football again are "particularly remote, Professional Footballers' Association chairman Gordon Taylor says.

Speaking to the BBC after the former winger was jailed, Mr Taylor added: "We have many issues. People perceive footballers as being, to put it mildly, overpaid and sometimes arrogant. 

Adam Johnson
PA

"Sometimes they don’t do themselves any favours with that perception. But I can assure you there are so many areas where football and footballers are used as a force for good. 

"We have a social responsibility programme, we have thousands of letters from parents who are pleased, involving in areas against drugs, against obesity, about inclusion, about equality issues. 

"That’s a side of the game that doesn’t get illuminated. Thankfully I do know my members and this is an example of something going badly wrong, but I’ve got many examples where everything went right and people are so pleased that footballers have given that and are appreciative of where they are, where they’ve come from and the difference they can make for the good.”

How long will Adam Johnson actually be in prison?

Some people have been asking how long Adam Johnson will serve in prison after he was jailed for six years for grooming and abusing a schoolgirl fan in his Range Rover.

Adam Johnson's Range Rover
Durham Police

Well over to the sentencing guidelines, which say:

Offenders always complete their full sentence but usually half the time is spent in prison and the rest is spent on licence. While on licence, an offender can be sent back to prison if they break its terms.

The system of serving half a sentence in prison and half on licence was introduced by Parliament, and is not something that judges or magistrates have any control over."

Sentencing Council

Footballers warned of 'danger zones with young women'

There are "danger zones" with footballers as they're "a bit like pop starts and film stars", Professional Footballers' Association chairman Gordon Taylor says.

Speaking to the BBC after Adam Johnson was jailed for six years, he said: "They’re celebrities in their own right.

"They’re looked up to. It works between players and with spectators and of course there will be times when there are danger zones.

"With young women, particularly girls, then that’s even more dangerous. 

"So they need to be very, very mindful and there’s a line beyond which they just do not cross.”

PFA 'did not get Adam Johnson reinstated at Sunderland'

The Professional Footballers' Association had no input in overturning Adam Johnson's suspension from Sunderland, chief executive Gordon Taylor says.

The players' union had come under fire after SAFC said Johnson was allowed to return to the first team squad last March following discussions with the group.

Gordon Taylor
PA

But Mr Taylor told the BBC: "Our delegate liaison executive for Sunderland went up there because he was immediately suspended and if he was to return to the club then again there had to be child protection issues because of the nature of his arrest. 

"From that point on, that was a matter for Sunderland. They made that decision and kept us informed of what was happening. He returned for training, they took a choice to play him and what has since come out is that the police had spoken to them and certain details were passed through them, of a nature that came up at the trial, which was the first time we heard of that.”

Your views on disgraced footballer's jail sentence

NOT a Sunderland fan (Teessider), but unfair to criticise Sunderland; they were not jury and judge, he was innocent until proven guilty.

To fire him before a trial would have opened the door for any false accuser to benefit from blackmail, which is as unjust as Johnson’s behaviour."

Freddie Milburn

Absolute disgrace! Only six years, he will be out in three years then get on with his life, while the young girl has to live with this for the rest of her life."

Sinbad Sinnett

If you'd like to let us know what you think of it all, you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via Facebook.  

Adam Johnson: What the local papers say

'Abusers must face justice, whether they are famous or not'

Abusers who groom and have sexual activity with a child must pay for their actions, whether they are famous or not, a charity says.

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “The victim in this case was exploited and left devastated by the person she idolised. 

"She showed incredible bravery in giving evidence in a courtroom setting.

"We hope this sentence will give other victims of child sexual abuse the confidence to come forward and seek justice."

Click here for more information about Barnardo’s.

Watch: Adam Johnson's grooming 'devastated' his victim

Footballer Adam Johnson has been jailed for six years for grooming and sexual activity with a girl aged 15.

Outside the court, Gerry Wareham from the Crown Prosecution Service, said that everyone "should be clear that there was only one victim in this case and that is the 15-year-old girl that he sexually assaulted". 

How Adam Johnson was arrested over animal pornography

Adam Johnson was arrested for possessing extreme pornography but will face no further action.

Today at Bradford Crown Court reporting restrictions were lifted which have prevented any mention of this.

The images, thought to be bestiality-related, were found on his computer. 

The arrest was mentioned in hearings at Durham Crown Court prior to his trial. 

Durham Police have now confirmed Johnson has now been released from his bail. 

It is understood the images found on the computer were of a "jokey" nature.

Adam Johnson 'to keep his England caps'

Richard Conway

BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent

Adam Johnson has not been stripped of his 12 England caps.

It comes after Johnson's defence team today told the judge they had been taken away from him. 

Adam Johnson had medication for sexually transmitted infections

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Adam Johnson had medication for sexually transmitted infections when he was arrested, it can be reported for the first time.

Police found the medicines in a safe when they arrested him on suspicion of grooming and sexual activity with a child last year. 

Adam Johnson: Your views on sex offence jail term

I think that Sunderland Football Club should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for leaving this criminal to carry on playing for the club after his arrest for this offence."

Their excuse for lifting the suspension that they thought Johnson was going to contest the charges should have made no difference to the club, he had been arrested for the offence and that should have been enough to keep him suspended, if not sacked."

Yvonne Armstrong

Good, fair sentence, lets hope it eases some of the pain the young victim has had to endure. Lets not forget this is only a 'GROOMING' case with sexual activity.

I hope that the Judicial system now takes notice of this sentence and now increases sentences on more serious child abuse cases."

Michael Rennie

If you'd like to let us know what you think of it all, you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via Facebook.

BreakingAdam Johnson found with extreme pornography

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

We can now confirm that news from earlier - Footballer Adam Johnson had extreme pornography involving animals on his laptop, it can be reported for the first time.

Today he was jailed for six years for sexual activity with a 15-year-old.

Bradford Crown Court was told he will face no further action over the pornography. 

Adam Johnson 'had extreme pornography on his laptop'

The Guardian is reporting that Adam Johnson had "extreme pornography" on his laptop:

View more on twitter

It adds he will face no further action over this.

We'll bring you more on this when we have it.

First picture of Adam Johnson in the dock

Here's an artist's impression of Adam Johnson in the dock during his sentencing hearing today.

Artist's impression of Adam Johnson in the dock
Julia Quenzler

He showed no emotion as he was sentenced to six years in prison.

The picture was drawn by Julia Quenzler, who you can learn more about here.

Adam Johnson's career in numbers

Adam Johnson's career in numbers
BBC

Adam Johnson 'lost to the game forever'

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

When Adam Johnson was found guilty a few weeks ago, I wrote:

Johnson was a highly gifted but inconsistent player who failed to fulfil the potential that saw him win a Premier League title medal with Manchester City in 2011-12 and persuaded Sunderland to pay £10m to sign him later that year.

Blessed with pace and unpredictability, as well as the knack for a spectacular goal, he also should have done more on the international stage with England, for whom he won 12 caps but - as with his clubs - Johnson could never produce his natural gifts on a regular basis.

It would seem he is now lost to the game at the highest level forever without ever becoming the high-quality player many thought he had the capability to become.

Adam Johnson: Is football to blame?

Tom Fordyce

Chief sports writer

One of the most disturbing aspects of the Adam Johnson case for many people was the adoration the victim clearly felt for the player before his acts. 

A Sunderland season-ticket holder, she had his name printed across the back of her shirt.

And here lies the most troubling thought for both football clubs and those who support them.

Successful elite sportspeople are deified in the way that was once the preserve of television stars and musicians. 

Adam Johnson
Reuters

Just as that has created opportunities in those industries for the exploitation of the vulnerable, from the serial crimes of Jimmy Savile to the abuse committed by former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins, so that climate of adoration in sport opens the possibility of the same manipulation and mistreatment.

It does not excuse the actions of Johnson, and it does not implicate the football authorities. 

But it creates an opportunity for the powerful and corrupt to exploit. Preventing that will be an immense challenge for both football and the wider sporting community.

Adam Johnson jailed: 'Don't blame football, but sport must learn'

Tom Fordyce

Chief sports writer

As Adam Johnson begins his six-year sentence after being convicted of sexual activity with a child, there is an understandable desire to make sure football is doing everything it can to stop such a crime happening again.

If it is a worthy aspiration, the sport has been here before; in March 1999, another former England winger, Graeme Rix, at the time assistant coach at Chelsea, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for having unlawful sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Adam Johnson
Reuters

That it could easily occur once more is explained for some by an easy if unsavoury equation: a lifestyle of entitlement and avarice, a moral black hole when elite players should be role models.

Except this is about more than just football, and more specific than some ethical malaise among millionaire young men and those who advise them.

Adam Johnson back in court for legal argument

Adam Johnson is back in court to hear legal argument.

His blue suit he wore to be sentenced...

Adam Johnson
Reuters

...has been replaced by a grey sweatshirt and grey jogging bottoms.

It's a far cry from the multimillion-pound lifestyle he led as an England international.

Read more here.

Footballers warned not to accept Facebook friend requests

Adam Johnson breached FA guidelines when he allowed a Facebook friend request from the besotted fan he went on to groom and sexually abuse, it has emerged.

The FA's Player Essentials guide says:

FA Player's Essentials rules
FA Player's Essentials

Click here to find out how social media and messaging apps were key to the prosecution and conviction of the former England and Sunderland footballer.

Adam Johnson back in court in prison-issue uniform

Ed Thomas

BBC News

Adam Johnson is back in court. 

His suit has gone and instead he is wearing a prison outfit.    

Sunderland AFC and Adam Johnson in focus

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Adam Johnson has been jailed for six years for sexual activity with a 15-year-old.

The former footballer played for Sunderland, and the club came under scrutiny following his initial arrest.

So much so that chief exec Magaret Byrne resigned.

Before pleading guilty to grooming and kissing the besotted fan, the former winger continued to play for the club. He played 28 times after he was arrested, all the while earning £60,000 a week.

In court, evidence was heard that suggested club bosses knew he would admit the offences, but the club say they thought he was planning to contest all the charges, a stance he maintained right up until the first day of his trial.

Here's a timeline of events:

  • 2 March 2015 - Adam Johnson is arrested. Durham Police say Margaret Byrne was told on this day that he had allegedly messaged and kissed the schoolgirl. He is suspended.
  • 16 March 2016 - The suspension is lifted after a meeting between the club and the Professional Footballers' Association.
  • 23 April 2015 - Adam Johnson charged with four offences. The club say they thought he intended to deny them all. He continues to play for the club.
  • 11 February 2016 - He pleads guilty to grooming and kissing a 15-year-old, and is sacked.

Charity calls for more help after Adam Johnson case

The Adam Johnson case shows how vulnerable children are to grooming, manipulation and abuse, a charity says.

Peter Grigg from The Children’s Society said: "Parents, professionals and young people must be made aware of the early warning signs so children can be better protected from grooming, abuse and exploitation. 

"There also needs to be more investment in desperately needed therapy for girls and boys traumatised by sexual abuse and exploitation. 

"Vulnerable children and teenagers will continue to suffer until the Government is willing to commit the resources needed to help children recover from the abuse they have experienced."

How messaging and social apps helped convict Adam Johnson

Conversations from social media and messaging apps were key to the conviction of Adam Johnson, who has been jailed for six years for sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

The court heard evidence gathered from a range of services as part of the prosecution case.

Recreation of Whatsapp messages
BBC

Hundreds of messages from social media, messaging and chat apps - respectively Facebook, Whatsapp and Snapchat - formed crucial parts of the evidence presented to the jury.

They demonstrated how Johnson groomed his victim before the offences, and how he continued to do so afterwards.

Read more here.

No comment from Johnson's mother and father

Ed Thomas

BBC News

Adam Johnson's mother and father have left the court. 

They made no comment.  

Adam Johnson's mother and father
Getty Images

Johnson 'exploited star-struck fan for sexual gratification'

Adam Johnson pursued his schoolgirl victim for his own sexual gratification, prosecutors say.

Speaking outside the court, chief crown prosecutor in the North East, Gerry Wareham, said: "Adam Johnson exploited a young star-struck fan, actively grooming her over a period of months in a single-minded pursuit of his own sexual gratification.

"He gave no thought to the young girl's interests or welfare during that time or at any time later during the 11 months before his trial.

Gerry Wareham
BBC

"We should all be clear there's only one victim in the case and that is the 15-year-old girl he sexually assaulted.

"The situation has had a devastating effect on her and it's my sincere hope that her and her family will no be granted the respect and space they need to recover and rebuild their lives."

Adam Johnson: From promising footballer to convicted criminal

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Adam Johnson began his football career as a trainee with Middlesbrough in 2004, and went on to make his Premier League debut in 2005.

He signed for Manchester City five years later in a £7m transfer.

His first of 12 England caps was that year against Mexico at Wembley.

He won the FA Cup and Premier League with Manchester City in consecutive seasons, before returning to the North East of England in 2012, signing with Sunderland for a fee of £10m.

Now, he's been jailed for six years for sexual activity with a child.

Adam Johnson
PA

Judge tells Johnson 'your messages to victim were quite clear'

Before jailing Adam Johnson for six years for sexual activity with a child, Judge Jonathan Rose spoke of the former Sunderland footballer's behaviour which led to the charges:

Quote pic
Reuters / BBC

Video: Adam Johnson jailed for six years

Adam Johnson to return to the dock later this afternoon

Ed Thomas

BBC News

Adam Johnson straightened his jacket and was "taken down" to the cells.

But the hearing hasn't finished yet.

He'll be back in the dock later this afternoon.  

Adam Johnson to pay £50,000 of prosecution costs

Judge Jonathan Rose has told the court Adam Johnson must pay £50,000 of the prosecution's £67,132 costs.

He's been jailed for six years for sexual activity with a 15-year-old fan.

During his trial the court heard he was paid £60,000 a week by Sunderland before he was sacked.

Adam Johnson
Reuters

Adam Johnson victim: 'I hope today will bring some closure for her'

Adam Johnson's 15-year-old victim "should have been safe but she was used by the public figure she looked up to most", Durham Police says.

The former Sunderland footballer has been sentenced to six years in jail.

In a statement, Det Insp Aelfwynn Sampson says:

His sexual intentions to the girl were clear as he admitted himself while giving evidence.

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."

Johnson jailed for intentional sexual activity with child fan

Adam Johnson stood with his hands behind his back as the judge - who said the girl had "suffered severe psychological harm" - jailed him for six years.

Judge Jonathan Rose said the victim had been a Sunderland fan who would wait after matches to take pictures of him as he was her "favourite player", 

Making it clear Johnson knew full well how old she was, he told him: "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. 

Police: 'The law remains clear and Adam Johnson broke it'

Adam Johnson "manipulated a schoolgirl in an attempt to satisfy his sexual desires", Durham Police says.

Adam Johnson running to court
Reuters

As he was jailed for six years, a statement from Det Insp Aelfwynn Sampson, from Durham Constabulary, says: "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."

Johnson shows no emotion as jailed for six years

Adam Johnson, 28, showed no emotion as he was sentenced to six years in prison at Bradford Crown Court by Judge Jonathan Rose.

There was silence in court as the jail term was read out. 

There was no emotion shown by either his mother and father.  

BreakingAdam Johnson jailed for six years

Ex-England footballer Adam Johnson has been jailed for six years for sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl. 

Johnson was found guilty of sexual touching but cleared of one charge relating to another sexual act following a trial at Bradford Crown Court.

The former Sunderland winger previously admitted grooming the girl and one charge of sexual activity.

Adam Johnson running into court
Reuters

Judge tells of Adam Johnson's compulsive drive for sex

Ed Thomas

BBC News

Adam Johnson was only able to commit his child sex offences because he was "a respected Sunderland footballer", the judge says.

He tells him he "had a gift of football" but after joining Manchester City he embarked on a compulsive drive for sex.  

That left his victim suffering from "sadness, anger, fear, confusion, night terrors, weight loss and nausea".