England

Adam Johnson trial: Father tells jury girl 'wanted to kill herself'

  • 18 February 2016
  • From the section England
Adam Johnson Image copyright Christopher Furlong/Getty images
Image caption Adam Johnson has been capped 12 times by his country

A 15-year-old girl "wanted to kill herself" before revealing to her father that she had a sexual encounter with footballer Adam Johnson, a court heard.

In a statement to Bradford Crown Court, the father told of his "shock and disbelief" as he consoled his daughter.

He said the girl confessed to meeting the player in his car and that "things had happened".

Mr Johnson, 28, from Castle Eden in County Durham, denies two counts of sexual activity with a child.

The jury has been told the former Sunderland player met up the girl in his car outside a Chinese restaurant near her home in January 2015 after the pair had exchanged messages on social media.

'Things have happened'

In the statement, which was read to the court, the girl's father said his daughter was "crying her eyes out" when she came down from her bedroom to tell him about their meeting.

He said: "She said she wanted to kill herself. She sat cuddling me crying, after half an hour reassuring her, she made me promise that I would not tell anyone, including her mum," his statement read.

"I told her that no matter what she thought I would say, I would always be with her. What is it?"

"And she replied, 'I have met up with Adam Johnson.'

"I think I asked her what had happened. She replied, 'Things have happened."'

He said he pressed her for details of what had gone and the girl said they had not had sex.

He said his daughter got a Sunderland FC season ticket at Christmas 2014, with various members of the family taking her to games.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Johnson began his career at Middlesbrough before moving to Manchester City and then on to Sunderland for £10m in 2012

He confirmed his daughter would often stay back after games to catch a glimpse of players and take photos and Mr Johnson had offered his daughter a club shirt.

He said he was "in a state of total shock and disbelief" after being told what had happened.

Earlier, the court heard from a friend of the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who described Mr Johnson as a "bit of a paedophile" for going after a 15-year-old girl.

The friend said the girl had shown her messages on her phone from the England international.

A second friend told the court the girl had planned to have sex with the footballer during a planned further encounter in his car, although that meeting did not take place.

Mr Johnson messaged her to say he did not have an excuse to explain to his girlfriend, Stacey Flounders, why he was leaving the house, the court heard.

The girl was "mad at the fact he had messed her about", the witness said.

"That was the same night she told her mam and dad," she added.

The jury was also shown a 10-second video clip recorded by the girl on her phone while in Mr Johnson's car. Neither are visible, but Mr Johnson's voice can be heard talking, though the audio is partly inaudible.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Adam Johnson's partner Stacey Flounders accompanied him to court

The jury of eight women and four men were previously told of other social media exchanges between Mr Johnson and the girl, who had made it clear she was 15, after their encounter in his car where the footballer wrote: "It was class. Just wanted to get your jeans off, LOL."

The court heard the girl replied: "Next time."

The girl's messages also congratulated Johnson on the birth of his daughter and Mr Johnson was messaging the girl and his partner simultaneously after the sexual activity had taken place.

The footballer later researched "legal of age of consent" on the internet and allegedly asked the girl to delete messages between them.

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

The trial continues.

The footballer has previously pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child, involving kissing, and one charge of grooming. He was sacked by Sunderland as a result.

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