Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

You Didn't Care How Old She Was. Prosecution QC Grills Star on Trial's Ninth Day

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

You Didn't Care How Old She Was. Prosecution QC Grills Star on Trial's Ninth Day

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Hill Reporter Laura.Hill@trinitymirror.com

FOOTBALLER Adam Johnson's schoolgirl accuser was "too scared" to go to matches after details of his arrest were made public, a court heard.

The teenage fan had been a Sunderland season ticket holder and met her hero Johnson outside of the Stadium of Light.

A friend of the 15-year-old, one of four to give evidence by the defence, said the girl stopped going to matches after the Tyne-Wear derby in April.

"She stopped going because she was too scared fans would know her by face and would start saying things to her," the male friend told jurors.

Johnson, 28, held back tears as he took the witness stand for the third day at Bradford Crown Court.

Jurors heard Johnson's father received a phone call from Sunderland telling him his son's contract was being terminated after he pleaded guilty to kissing and grooming the schoolgirl.

He denies two further counts of sexual activity with a child and is currently on trial.

The court also heard how Johnson's former Sunderland teammates abandoned him after he admitted the offences.

His pal Steven Fletcher, who he holidayed in Dubai with last year, is no longer willing to give evidence in support of the player, the court heard.

He had been due to testify about Johnson's body hair, a point of contention between the prosecution and the defence.

Defence barrister Orlando Pownall QC said: "Since you pleaded guilty what has the reaction to you from other players been?" Johnson said: "They've taken a step back."

The court heard Johnson say he lost everything due to the sexual liaison with the teen, now 16.

Prosecutor Kate Blackwell QC said: "Some may have sympathy as you have thrown away your glittering career but it's no one's fault but your own and it's a direct result of your excessive arrogance."

Johnson replied: "And stupidity, I'd say more stupidity."

A photo of the alleged victim at a birthday party was then shown to the player.

"She looks 25," Johnson said. Prosecutor Kate Blackwell QC asked: "You fancied her, you didn't care how old she was did you?" "Not at that time I didn't," Johnson admitted. …

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